“You just can’t have it all.” If there’s one thing working women are told over and over again, it’s this one, that you can’t have a good personal life if you have a successful professional life. This often affects women’s professional ambitions due to the unnecessary fear it creates. The common myth is that women are less ambitious than men and if they are, it is seen from an eye of negativity. The reason for this is that with maternity and motherhood, they often miss out on great career opportunities. A research conducted by Boston Consulting Group’s global data sources crushes the myth ambition lacking in women and provides practical solutions to tackle the problem.
Company culture affects female ambition
Information gathered from 200,000 women revealed that women start out having the same amount of ambition as men or even higher, with the desire to gain positions of leadership. Also, starting a family has no negative effect on their ambitions and their drive to become leaders. Women with children rated leadership as equally important in the survey compared to women without children and the difference was just 1%. Interestingly, the report suggests that organisations that show a lack of diversity also result in a huge gap in the ambition of men and women. The statistic is at 17% between the ages of 30 to 40 which is the most productive years of one’s career.
Also, organisations that focused on female employee retention had a 20% higher ambition level that than of others who lacked this quality.
Everyone benefits from a positive culture
Contrary to popular belief, changing work culture to benefit women would profit men too. Women do not gain things professionally at the expense of men, so they have nothing to fear. A female employee commented, “Most women leave the company if they are ambitious, and management uses [their departure]as an excuse, instead of [recognising it as]a symptom of the problems.” These problems can be addressed by CEO’s who can target issues like the nature of managers, evaluation, guidance, and the everyday work environment.
Changes like flexibility and diverse leadership
Organisations should refuse to be gender-specific at the time of recruitment and try to kill gender bias at its root with unnecessary requirements like, ‘IT Wizard’. Regular assessments regarding diversity will help to balance the scale. For such changes, good role models are crucial at the level of leadership, with an equal number of both women and men in such roles. Also, flexibility helps staffing to be more diverse so that everyone can participate regardless of gender. Such steps will definitely lead to a positive breakthrough.
If a reputed organisation like BCG can provide such findings and solutions to the current problems of diversity, there’s no reason why others should follow suit. Women don’t lack ambition, it’s their working environment that prevents its realisation. It’s time companies made the change.