Women DO ask for promotions and raises but they still lag behind men in compensation and position. The latest Catalyst study, The Myth of the Ideal Worker: Does Doing All the Right Things Really Get Women Ahead?, dispels the myth that women are not proactive in advancing their careers. After following 3,000 high potential MBA graduates, Catalyst found that doing all the “right things” such as being proactive, requesting high profile assignments, and asking for promotions and raises, did not significantly help women advance their careers.

Examining different career strategies, Catalyst found that the common proactive strategies that high-potential women often adopt to advance their careers did not work in their favor. Quite simply, men outpace women in both advancement and compensation. The gender gap in pay and position still exists despite women’s efforts to negotiate for better pay and placement.

Here are some of the key findings:

Women seem to be paid for proven performance—women who changed jobs two or more times post-MBA earned $53,472 less than women who rose through the ranks at their first job.

In contrast, men seem to be paid for potential—men who had moved on from their first post-MBA job earned $13,743 more than those who stayed with their first employer.

Across all career profiles, men were more likely to reach senior executive/CEO positions than women; in the most proactive category, 21% of men advanced to leadership compared with 11% of women.

What I find especially important in the study is Catalyst’s recommendation for career advancement.

The same strategies don’t work equally well for men and women. Women must adopt strategies different from their male colleagues’ to advance their careers. When women were proactive in making their achievements known, they advanced further, increased their compensation growth, and were more satisfied with their careers. They also advanced further when they proactively networked with influential others. (my underline)

So let me ask you, how well do you think you communicate your achievements?

Have you identified your web of influence (your power network) and do you consistently communicate with this network to keep them apprised of your accomplishments?

Learning how to effectively articulate your achievements is not about bragging. It’s about YOU connecting with the VALUE  you bring to your organization. It’s about how your value benefits the organization; how YOU impact the bottom line.

Once you are able to do this well to your internal and external network, people will better understand what you have to offer.  As the Catalyst study suggests, this is paramount to advancing your career in today’s workplace environment.

If you would like improve your ability to do this well, I will be offering a full day workshop, GPS Your Career Day, in Boston in the beginning of December (exact date and location TBD), AND a four week coaching group, GPS Your Career Group, starting in January.

Email me if you would like more information.

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