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Updated: October 3, 2012 10:07 IST

The prejudice continues

Bindu Shajan Perappadan
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Women need recognition. Photo: Parth Sanyal
The Hindu
Women need recognition. Photo: Parth Sanyal

Women employees still have slower pay growth and career advancement than their male counterparts, says study

Even when women used the same career advancements strategies, doing all the things they have been told will help them get ahead, they advance less than their male counterparts and had slower pay growth — this is the finding of a survey result published by a global research and advisory not-for-profit organisation, Catalyst, which works toward expanding opportunities for women and business.

Busting the myth of an ideal worker, the survey titled “Does doing the right things really get women ahead?” interviewed 3,345 subjects where each of the women had stayed on a ‘traditional’ career path following graduation from a full-time MBA programme. They were working consistently full-time in companies and firms, without periods of self-employment or part-time work and without education, travel or family-related or personal breaks in employment.

The survey notes that women, too, used tactics to advance in their careers but they failed to advance at par with their male counterparts. “Prescription about what it takes to get ahead have been so ubiquitous they have coalesced into a detailed description of an ‘ideal worker’ as someone who actively seeks high profile assignments, rubs shoulders with influential leaders, communicate openly and directly about their career aspirations, seek visibility for their accomplishments, lets their supervisors know of their skills and willingness to contribute, continually seeks out new opportunities and learns the political landscape or unwritten rules of the company. Mastery of these skills seemingly paves the way to the top. But the survey looks at whether these tactics really work as well for women as for men,” says the study.

Catalyst India senior director Deepali Bagati says: “For women in India and elsewhere, advancement is not just about keeping your head down and doing a great job, waiting to get recognized. That’s not going to get women even close to the ladder, let alone up the ladder. Women must let their work be known — especially to influential others in the organisation.”

The study notes: “It was noticed that in organisations of all sizes, men had achieved a higher level than women. Men's compensation also grew faster than women’s regardless of the strategies used. The bottom line is that similar approaches to career management yielded different outcomes for women and men.”

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