What Keeps High-Achieving Women from Choosing Executive Positions: VII. Results: Themes Four and Five
(MR) “I was mortified when I was accused of being self-serving. Couldn’t he see that I gave everything to the organization because I knew I was the one who could make these changes? My motive was not for my personal gain. But visibility is necessary for me to do the work I’m capable of achieving. Being the leader and making a difference is how I show my gratitude for the gifts I have been given.”
(BS) “Whenever we have something new rolling out, I’m the first to get it done… but it’s about my passion. It’s coming from my heart. It’s not just about me.”
Survey response: When asked to identify the role that best describes their behavior at work, 85% of the women choose the word Achiever, 52% identified themselves as Change Agents, and 40% called themselves Innovators. Less than 10% saw themselves as Activists, Revolutionaries, Rebels, Martyrs or Liberators. They don’t see themselves as changing the system; they see themselves as making the system better. They like having a large sense of purpose, so they like their achievements to have a big impact.
Sample survey comments:
“I am not satisfied with what I have achieved in 20 years, which equates with what many folks dream of – live abroad, good career, many hobbies, etc. I now feel I need to have a sense of purpose for what I do for the next 20 years.”
“My husband and I are going to retire in 11 years, work together doing sales training/coaching all over the world on a contractual basis. We hope to start a foundation and share our success with worthy causes.”
“My work provides meaning and challenge every day — my wonderful network of friends, partner, dogs and yoga ensure that I am “finding inner peace” so I can do the work I need to do.”