Yesterday I was invited to share Social Business for the NAFE group, the group of Female exeuctives dedicated to assisting women in their search for professional growth.

While waiting to present, they shared some facts that I found appalling.  They come from a Catalyst study:

  • Women seem to be paid for proven performance—women who changed jobs two or more times post-MBA earned $53,472 less than women who rose through the ranks at their first job.
  • In contrast, men seem to be paid for potential—men who had moved on from their first post-MBA job earned $13,743 more than those who stayed with their first employer.
  • Across all career profiles, men were more likely to reach senior executive/CEO positions than women; in the most proactive category, 21% of men advanced to leadership compared with 11% of women.

The working session then focused on these women helping to set up “Sponsorship” focus vs mentoring.  The full study showed that woman do have mentors, but not sponsors.   People willing to stand up for them, and push them and let them learn in new roles.  Men tend to get these “potential” promotions based on their sponsors.  

The same strategies don’t work equally well for men and women. Women must adopt strategies different from their male colleagues’ to advance their careers. When women were proactive in making their achievements known, they advanced further, increased their compensation growth, and were more satisfied with their careers. They also advanced further when they proactively networked with influential others. Making their achievements known did not impact men’s careers. Rather, gaining access to influential others also helped men advance, and indicating a willingness to work long hours and conducting external scans for other opportunities helped men increase their salaries.

Hope this helps.  As a mom and a professional, it helps me doubly. I’d love your thoughts.