Everyday moments of truth | A Bain & Company study on women’s career paths

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 14.45.24For the past five years, Bain & Company has studied how and why women’s career paths differ from men’s. One of the more telling findings from our 2014 US gender parity research is that a significant number of women follow Anne’s prototypical trajectory.

We surveyed more than 1,000 men and women in the US at all career levels, asking specifically about their interest in pursuing a top management position (board, CEO level, and one or two levels below CEO) in a large company. We discovered that 43% of women aspire to top management when they are in the first two years of their position, compared with 34% of men at that stage. Both genders are equally confident about their ability to reach a top management position at that stage.

This suggests that women are entering the workforce with the wind in their sails, feeling highly qualified after success at the university level. However, over time, women’s aspiration levels drop more than 60% while men’s stay the same. Among experienced employees (those with two or more years of experience), 34% of men are still aiming for the top, while only 16% of women are. As they gain experience, women’s confidence also falls by half, while men’s stays about the same….

Download the report here

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