What Keeps High-Achieving Women from Choosing Executive Positions: VII. Results: Themes Four and Five
Even though the women like autonomy, they still want support and recognition from their managers. If a company wants to retain their high-achieving women, they need to provide them with good managers.
Sample interview response:
(JE) “I got zero visibility for my last project. I really disappeared. Nobody checked in on me. I even went to HR at one point and said, ‘…my boss has been out for 6 months and I haven’t heard a single thing from the next level up’ who happened to be the CIO who reports right into the CEO. The CIO was the champion on my charter to make sure this process happened. Yet no one was asking me anything. I didn’t want to be micromanaged but I did want to feel engaged. It’s like I was a star then I dropped out of the sky.”
(KP) “Being micromanaged infuriates me.”
(EM) “I need an environment where I can shine and be recognized.”
(MR) “My boss thought I would sit and listen to him spout off his “theories” of management, which were archaic and purely theoretical. I lost respect for him. That was deadly for our relationship. When the day came that he told me my position would never go any higher in the current company structure (meaning the Training Director could never be a Vice President, which would make me his peer), I knew what my next exciting challenge would be…walking out the door and starting my own company.”
Survey response: When asked if they had any “good bosses” in their careers, 85% said yes, while 66% of these women said their best boss was a woman. However, most of the comments reflected an inconsistency in the bosses over time, with only one person saying that the majority of bosses they have had were good ones. The aspects of good bosses were defined as reliable, honest, talked with me before acting, good listener, collaborative, cared about me as a person, gave me autonomy, acted as my mentor and coach, provided clear expectations and goals, encouraged me, trusted me, challenged me and actively engaged me in the decision-making processes.