Women knocked from top: Study - Metro US

Women knocked from top: Study

You know how bad the economy is these days, so you don’t want to read about it again. However, depending on your education and employment potential, these horror stories may merely be myths.

A recent report released by Catalyst, an international organization focused on working with businesses to create inclusive workplaces, indicates that over 50 per cent of “high potential” employees were actually able to advance their careers in this recessionary period. The data found that these people remained employable, mobile and in high demand from various employers around the world.

“The report showed us that there are a number of myths surrounding the current economic crisis,” said Deborah Gillis, North American vice-president of Catalyst. “Top-level employees, for the most part, are still hireable and mobile.”

The numbers were reached by analyzing information collected from over 800 MBA alumni from 26 leading business schools spanning across continents — including Asia, Europe and North America. The responding alumni graduated between 1996 and 2007.

In fact, the research shows that only 10 per cent of respondents reported losing their jobs due to downsizing or closure.

Of that 10 per cent, however, women executives were three-times more likely to lose their jobs than their male counterparts. While six per cent of male senior employees lost their jobs because of downsizing, a substantial 19 per cent of high-ranking women employees suffered the same fate.

Gillis explains that because of a lack of mentors, role models, connections and networks, women are more likely than men to be laid off. This is because men, who have traditionally outnumbered women in senior positions, have established networks to keep them on board.

“Decisions need to be made to fix the barriers women face,” she said. “Networks need to be put in place for women to acquire role models and mentors so they can advance within their organizations.”

Based on this, it appears that as more women acquire senior positions, these networks will be created and strengthened.

The data in the report is focused on the time period between November 2007 and June 2009.

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