When examining the life of the modern-day woman in the corporate world, it is highly pertinent to understand that almost all women who have successfully navigated to the top in the ladder of leadership have had to surmount the raging gender bias setting against women, which is usually associated with the current corporate setting in the world. Advancement in the place of work has never been an easy task for the 21st-century woman, especially those who are zealous about changing the tide of things and those passionate about challenging the current domineering patriarchal system in the world.
Records still show that women are underrepresented in corporate leadership positions. They are rather most times saddled with back-office responsibilities while their male counterparts, take limitless frontline assignments and occupy vital leadership positions in a big organization. In this article of 7 things, we will examine 7 top challenges encountered by women in the corporate world.
7 challenges Encountered by Women in the corporate world
- The Gender Biased Pay Scheme: Despite the innovation of “equal pay day’ in some countries, women are still faced with real marginalization when it comes to salary payments in most establishments, especially when their earnings are compared with that of their male counterparts. There is an unconscious bias that exists in payment in the corporate world which intentionally attempts to put under the payments of the female gender in organizations. In order to create an environment which will enable an order for women to achieve full parity with men at work, we must eliminate the unconscious bias that still plays a significant role in the gender differences in pay. In one often-repeated methodology for studying gender differences in pay, participants are given a resume to review. Half of the participants have a resume with a woman’s name and half have one with a man’s name at the top. Otherwise, the resumes are identical. Participants are then asked how much they believe the owner of the resume should be paid. Even though the resumes are identical, participants consistently suggest higher salaries for the male candidate, and this poses a huge challenge to the women in the co-operate world.
- Childbearing Discrimination: This is one of the most well-known hurdles to be crossed by a woman who desires to get to the peak of her career in the corporate world. Single women who are progressing in their career are often frightened about what the effects of “being put in a family way” might do to their career. Many women are afraid of starting a family knowing that their career will most likely be affected since being a working woman can become extremely difficult when it comes to having a baby. It has been reported that some female workers return to work after a supposed maternity leave only to realize that their job duties have changed or that they can no longer progress within their role.
- The Struggle for a perfect Work-Life Balance: Unlike the male population, the need for commendable advancements in the corporate world does not totally exonerate the woman from her responsibilities as a wife and mother. In a recent survey with some women with corporate jobs, 44 percent of them reported their work-life balance as the toughest challenge in the workplace. In another survey, 43% of employee said that flexible working hours would help them with stress. The desire for a perfect work-life balance has remained one of the major challenges faced by women in the corporate world. Some scholars attribute flexible working hours as a major solution to this challenge.
- Physique and Appearance Criticism: Often times the physical appearance of women in the corporate world is judged more than that of her male counterparts. In different settings it has been observed that a woman is perceived to be unserious with her job if she does not look polished enough; maybe when she is not wearing heels or make up. On the other hand, if a woman dresses her best and pays careful attention to the details of her appearance, others can assume she’s trying too hard. Now the question on the mind of this great career woman is “what could be the perfect medium?”
- Lack of Access to hot Jobs: Despite the admirable desire of most successful carrier women to become top leaders and ultimately successful role models in their field, they are still not provided with the required visibility and international experience that give them access to well-paying and better exposed jobs which seems to be the ‘hot job’ at this time.
- The issue of non-inclusiveness in Most Work Places: it is rampant to feel the air of women being ignored in most corporate settings. When women in any organization feel excluded, it could result to a lowered job satisfaction, reduced work effort, diminished employee voice, and greater intention to leave.
- The absence of Career Motivators. Career motivators are people who have succeeded in a particular career and now serve as role-models to those currently treading that same path. There are very few powerful examples of female role models in the corporate world and this stands as a challenge to most women since they have little or no motivation to succeed in their chosen career path.
A balanced economy is key for promoting growth and development in any nation and for a nation to have a balanced economy, then gender (whether male or female) should never stand as a barrier to accessing resources in any nation.