What Keeps High-Achieving Women from Choosing Executive Positions VIII: Conclusions
The intention of this study has been to stimulate dialogue among high-achieving women, the executives they work for and the coaches and mentors that support them. The overall goal has been to promote awareness of this newly defined business challenge. I have found that the themes and patterns articulated in this paper are of great interest to the current generation of high-achieving women in the workplace for two reasons. First, they give voice to dilemmas these women face in the workplace, predicaments that they have had trouble articulating themselves. Women who gather to discuss these findings may feel more empowered to invent alternate strategies for their careers and their lives. Second, they bring forward important emotional needs that have been ignored but should be attended to by the organizations they work for, their managers, and their coaches in order for these women to successfully move into executive positions. It is my hope that this study generates new ways to develop and support high-achieving women in the workplace and inspires specific practices to stimulate their desire to aspire to executive positions.
In conclusion, this study should promote awareness of how today’s generation of high-achieving women in the workforce define career success. These self-reliant, highly confident women seek jobs that give them frequent and novel challenges to work on, that allow them to think creatively and permit them to test out innovative approaches to problems. They want recognition for the work when it is successfully completed and useful feedback when improvement is needed. Doesn’t this sound like the model employee?
The results of this study should serve as a guide for the women and the mentors, managers and coaches who act as their partners as they navigate the labyrinth of corporate America. Hopefully, it will also give clarity and direction to the organizations desiring to retain and promote these women to executive levels.