Women offered fewer career-advancing “hot jobs,” Catalyst report finds
Women get fewer of the high visibility, mission-critical roles and international experiences—the so-called “hot jobs” — that are key to getting ahead at global companies, according to a new Catalyst report, “Good Intentions, Imperfect Execution? Women Get Fewer of the Hot Jobs Needed to Advance”. The results suggest that unequal access to those “hot jobs” may be an underlying cause of the persistent gender gap at senior levels.
Formal leadership training isn’t the answer either. Catalyst research shows that on-the-job experience leads to advancement more quickly than training — and even among those who have completed training programs, men are still more likely than women to get access to “hot jobs.”
Key findings of the study include:
- High-visibility projects, mission-critical roles, and international experiences are hallmarks of “hot jobs.” that predict advancement. Yet Catalyst findings show that women get fewer of these “hot jobs.” than men.
- 62 percent of respondents said high-profile assignments that gave them leadership experience had the greatest impact on their careers, while only 10 percent cited formal training programs as most impactful.
- Men reported leading projects with bigger budgets (more than twice the size of women’s), larger teams (more than three times as many staff), that posed higher risk to the company (30 percent of men vs. 22 percent of women), and had more C-suite visibility (35 percent of men vs. 26 percent of women).
- Men reported having roles with more critical responsibility — for profit and loss (56 percent of men vs. 46 percent of women), management of direct reports (77 percent of men vs. 70 percent of women), and budgets over $10 million (30 percent of men vs. 22 percent of women).
- International assignments predict advancement, and women get fewer than men — but not because they’re unwilling to relocate. Of those most willing, more men than women got those assignments (35 percent vs. 26 percent), and more women than men were never offered the opportunity (64 percent vs. 55 percent).
- More men than women got “hot jobs” after being in formal leadership development programs, and more men were promoted within a year of program completion (51 percent of men vs. 37 percent of women).
“Offering critical assignments to high-potential women as part of an intentional strategy can help break through the logjam that blocks advancement for talented women,” said Ilene H. Lang, President & Chief Executive Officer, Catalyst. “Catalyst studies show that women are just as ambitious as men and use the same career advancement strategies — but they don’t get the same pay off. Clearly, access to the ‘hot jobs’ and to senior-level sponsors with clout to create that access can make a dramatic difference in closing the persistent gender gap.”
Source: Catalyst; www.catalyst.org.