What Keeps High-Achieving Women from Choosing Executive Positions: VII. Results: Themes Four and Five
Marcia Reynolds, Psy.D.
The themes and patterns presented below and in the previous essay were matched to the assumptions defined prior to the research in the Hypothesis section (see earlier essay). Each theme is titled before the assumption, and then the results are given either validating or modifying the assumption. Following are the final two themes.
Theme 4. The workplace is their playground. Success at work is my sport, just throw me the ball.
Assumption: They still feel that they are measured by a harsher standard than men. However, this tends to mobilize instead of demotivate them. They love a good challenge. This behavior is very different from many of the women of previous years who just felt victimized.
Summary of data collected: The assumption is only partially true. Although many people would label these women “competitive,” they actually don’t spend that much energy measuring their success against others. Their confidence is solid, especially by the time they pass thirty years old. Therefore, they don’t need to compare themselves to others to feel good. Being held to a harsher measurement than men does impel them to prove their superior value. However, this should not be used as a means to motivate them. Over time, if they don’t get the recognition and comparable compensation, they will search for a new company or manager that will provide them with what they deserve.