5 Challenges Women Face in their Quest for Professional Success
Read the news today and you will learn about how women are making their mark in sports, commercial, management, or any other professional arena. Despite their impressive accomplishments, the Pew Research Center reports that women made up only 46.8% of the labor force in the year 2017. Further, the organization projects that only up to 47.1% of women may continue to contribute to the American economy in 2025.
However, the most interesting statistic is that just 6.4% of women acted as CEOs in Fortune 500 companies in the year 2017. If close to half the workforce in the country is female, why is it that just a small percentage makes it to the esteemed echelons of the management of top-ranking companies? What stands in their quest for professional success?
The fact remains that women deal with far more challenges in their careers. And overcoming those pitfalls to break the glass ceiling is much harder for them. Here’s a quick look at the most significant issues they deal with, and what they can do to overcome them.
1. Women’s Health Starts to Falter at the Age of 35
By the time, students graduate from school and college with the required qualifications to get good jobs, they have already reached the age of 30 or more. For women, this is also the age when some of the hormones in their bodies like estrogen and progesterone start to decline. Having worked for 5 to 7 years and ready to earn promotions and rewards for their hard work, many women start to sense health issues as they reach 35.
Should you talk to the medical experts at the Beverly Hills Rejuvenation Center, you will learn that waning hormone levels have various health effects that can get in the way of their achieving professional success. Some of the main symptoms include fatigue, weakening bones, loss of muscle mass, and stress and anxiety. Perhaps, the most worrying symptom is mental confusion and inefficient memory. At the peak of their careers when women need their bodies to be in top working condition, they often find that keeping pace with the demands of the job is becoming very difficult.
Thankfully, doctors now have a solution – bioidentical hormone replacement therapy. After assessing your hormone levels with a simple blood test, they’ll give you supplements derived from plants that have absolutely no side effects. These supplements will restore the waning levels so you feel healthy and energetic and ready to attain professional success.
2. Women Must Keep Up with Family Obligations
Worldwide statistics gathered by Fast Company reveal that despite more men willing to stay home to care for the kids in the family, most of the burden of childcare and managing the needs of the elderly members of the family falls on the women. Chances are that you find your day crammed with household responsibilities and the need to create a healthy balance between professional success, a career, and the needs of your children and parents.
The answer is simple! Be willing to ask for help, and share your responsibilities with friends and other members of the family. Pool shopping and other chores with friends, taking turns to manage non-work related tasks. And, above all, recognize that it is impossible to excel at everything you take on. Laundry done more infrequently is not a disaster, and meal delivery services are a convenient alternative to cooking at home.
3. Women Are Often Second-Guessing Themselves
Like this article in the Forbes magazine explains, one of the key requirements for attaining professional success is the need for confidence in you. Not only are women hesitant about speaking up and voicing their ideas and opinions, but they often doubt their capabilities even though they may be the best-qualified person in the boardroom. Many women also talk about how their ideas were dismissed or that they often found that their bosses overlooked them opting instead to promote male colleagues.
If you see similar situations arising at work, take charge of them by preparing better for each meeting. Be more confident about speaking up and raise your voice to make it heard. If needed, sign up with a professional coach who can help you realize your potential.
4. Women Don’t Get Paid as Much as Men
A hard fact of the professional world is that there is a definite disparity in the wages that men and women earn. Check out this article in the Chicago Tribune and you will read about how an average woman with the same educational qualifications will earn up to 30% less than her male counterpart working at a similar post. This 30% can translate into a shortfall of $700,000 in their lifetimes.
A good move is to be confident about what you think your work is worth. And, demand the compensation you know you deserve. Studies show that women don’t talk about their professional success because they fear that they may come across as arrogant and egotistic. But, when it comes to negotiating for better wages, go ahead and talk about what the company has gained because of your hard work.
5. Promotion Criteria for Men and Women Differ Significantly
When it comes to considering raises and promotions, there may be more factors at play than you expect. To earn and get higher salaries and the raises they deserve, women must hold on to their jobs for a longer while. Changing jobs seems to lower their chances significantly. Further, when bosses promote a male employee, it’s because they evaluate his future prospects and the asset he can become for the company. But, when it comes to promoting a woman, her boss is likely to consider her track record of professional success, capabilities, and merits.
To get the promotions you deserve, don’t be modest about what you’ve accomplished. And, don’t be afraid to talk about what more you can do for the company, the ideas you have, and the projects you’ve got lined up.
Attaining professional success is a challenge for women. But, with the right moves, it might just be possible for you to get the recognition you deserve. Work hard and continue to strive to be better than your male colleagues. Success can’t be that far behind!