Challenges for Women in the Workplace
V 6. epizodi se dotaknemo pomembne teme glede izzivov žensk na delovnih mestih.

Opis epizode

Scholars of gender inequality in the workplace are asked by companies to investigate why they are having trouble retaining women and promoting them to senior ranks. Ask people why women remain so dramatically underrepresented, and you will hear from the vast majority a lament—an unfortunate but inevitable “truth”: High-level jobs require extremely long hours, women’s devotion to family makes it impossible for them to put in those hours, and their careers suffer as a result. This explanation is called the work/family narrative.

In a 2012 survey of more than 6,500 Harvard Business School alumni from many different industries, 73% of men and 85% of women invoked it to explain women’s stalled advancement. Believing this explanation doesn’t mean it’s true, however, and researchers managed to put it seriously into question. Women were held back because, unlike men, they were encouraged to take accommodations, such as going part-time and shifting to internally facing roles, which derailed their careers. Taking this into account, there is an inevitable conclusion: for the firm to address its gender problem, it would have to address its long-hour problem.

The power of push factors:

  • Work/family accommodations: Going part-time or shifting to internally facing roles provides an enticing off-ramp from the path of overwork, but those moves stigmatize women and derail their careers.
  • The pressure to give up what they saw as their relational style in favour of the hard-charging “masculine” style: One female partner told researchers how an early mentor warned that relying on her well-honed relationship-building skills would communicate to prospective clients that “you don’t have a lot going on between your ears.”
  • Poor reputation of female partners with children, whose mothering was roundly condemned: It can happen that successful women are described as bad mothers—“horrible” women who were not “positive role models of working moms.” For junior women facing decisions about being good mothers and having successful careers, such condemnation implies that professional commitment exacts a terrible cost.

Findings align with a growing consensus among gender scholars: What holds women back at work is not some unique challenge of balancing the demands of work and family but rather a general problem of overwork that prevails in contemporary corporate culture. Women and men alike suffer as a result. But women pay higher professional costs.


Ely, R. J. & Padavic, I. (2020). What’s Really Holding Women Back? Harvard Business Review, 98(2), 58-67.

Naroči se

Mark Kalin je izkušen manager, podjetnik, innovator, mentor, predavatelj in strokovnjak za vzpostavljanje inovativnih ekosistemov in transformacij kultur ter strokovnjak za vzpostavitev visoko zmogljivih virtualnih timov, z zelo bogato izobrazbo in poslovnimi izkušnjami.

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