What women want at work

For 2018’s International Women’s Day, PwC published research based on the results of a survey of 3,627 women around the world, called “Time to talk. What has to change for women at work”.


It shows three key essential elements that business leaders must focus on to advance gender equality and help women’s career advancement as they lead their enterprises into the 21st century.

1.  Transparency and trust matter.

2.  Support networks and advocacy go a long way. Women need strategic support.

3.  Challenges with balancing life, family care and work. There are grave concerns regarding flexibility and motherhood penalties.

58 per cent of the women in the study identified the need for greater transparency from their employers to improve career development opportunities. “This fits the stereotype that women believe they have to be 100 per cent competent or overqualified to advance, which is backed up by disappointing evidence that in PwC’s survey, only 17 per cent of respondents said they would put themselves forward for a promotion if they didn’t think they had all the right skills,” writes Carol Stubbings, global leader of PwC’s People and Organization practice. For employers to help talented people, be they men or women, reach their potential, everybody must be clear on the criteria for advancement.

“The elephant in the room in the early days of career building for women is often motherhood,” writes Stubbings. “A career lasts a long time, and given we are all living longer, careers are likely to last a lot longer, too: There is no reason women can’t get to the top if they take time out to have children. Today we too often see that the penalty is much bigger that the career gap merits.” Employers therefore need to recognize this for what it is: a normal stage in a person’s professional and personal life. Unfortunately, in the survey, 42 per cent said they feared the impact having a child would have on their careers and 48 per cent of new mothers said they were overlooked for promotion on their return to work.

The vast majority of women in this survey who were part of a couple were part of dual-career couples. “And, we know that it is no longer the default choice for the woman in a heterosexual couple to be the primary carer for children or the elderly,” writes Stubbings. Employers therefore need to adapt their policies to suit these changes.

Read more on www.pwc.com and www.strategy-business.com

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