Despite all of the talk about, and movement towards, the equality of the sexes that has occurred over the past few decades, with few exceptions, society in general, and the business world in particular, is still viewed primarily as a “man’s world.”
Regardless of their capabilities, qualifications, and achievements, women continue to face an uphill battle for the equality and success they deserve. Fortunately, the situation is improving and help is available for the women who need it.
Catalyst, a non-profit organization for women in the workplace, recently completed a study of 9,000 male and female MBAs who entered the workforce over a ten-year period. According to the results of the study, 54 percent of the males received greater than entry-level positions while only 40 percent of the women fared as well, despite the same level of professional experience for both gender groups. Similarly, annual starting salaries at first jobs averaged $4,600 higher for men.
Practicality, not prejudice, is the oft-cited reason for these disparities. Large corporations recruit and hire employees to fit the long-term needs of their businesses. Many businesses prefer to invest more in men because they assume young women entering the workforce after college will have children within a few years. While this assumption may or may not be accurate, many women admit that family commitments may disrupt their careers and, as a result, tend not to lobby for change.
That having been said, the professional roadblocks for women continue well beyond entry-level positions, as pointed out in another study conducted jointly by the Columbia School of Business and the Women’s Executive Circle of New York. This study found that disparities plague women throughout their careers. In reviewing women’s roles at the 100 largest public corporations based in New York, just over 10 percent of the C-level positions were held by women.
Although society and the business world seem to be modifying their assumptions and practices to meet the needs of women’s lifestyles, continuing prejudices live large. There may be no more glaring example than that of the U.S. government.
While the U.S. government may be viewed as a beacon and shining example of democracy for the free world, it still considers women a minority group. Like so many other affirmative action programs, each new administration must issue statistics about the number of women it employs.
Is There Any Hope for Women Who Want to Achieve Success in All Areas of Life?
Many women in our society manage a variety of quite disparate roles: career professional, spouse, and parent to name just a few. The time and energy required to prioritize tasks and responsibilities, make effective decisions, and manage numerous relationships can feel overwhelming. If a woman doesn’t take the time to practice self-care in the middle of all her other responsibilities, anxiety and depression may well occur.
Fortunately, help is available for women who are determined to live life to its fullest and realize success in all areas of their lives. And, while women may engage in numerous self-care activities, one of the most effective is professional counseling.
If you’re a woman who feels underappreciated, overwhelmed, or are just looking for something more out of life, professional counseling – whether in the form of individual counseling or group therapy – can provide you an opportunity to:
- Openly express your feelings, desires, and frustrations
- Determine and prioritize your goals
- Work through and resolve any difficulties or challenges you’re facing, be they personal or professional
- Overcome self-doubt
- Improve your personal and professional relationships
- Achieve greater balance and self-understanding
- Move forward in life and achieve the success you desire
Women continue to make great progress in the drive towards equality. However, professional and societal parity need not be achieved at the expense of personal fulfillment and joy.
You can achieve success in all areas of your life, and a professional psychotherapist who specializes in providing counseling services and therapy for women can help you overcome any hurdles you face in your quest to live the most rewarding life possible.
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