In the age of equality, do women have to take on the persona of their male counterparts, in order to even be considered for the top roles?
Manchester (PRWEB UK) 6 March 2013
Laura-Jane Sarkodee believes women still have to act like men when applying for senior positions, despite claims of increased equality in the workplace.
The article on new business website, Find the Edge, discusses how females are often hindered by expectations that they should behave in a similar way to their male counterparts, meaning the unique qualities they can bring to company boards and management positions are often underestimated.
She said: "Whilst coaching a client today, for a new Sales Director role, she shared some feedback from her last interview, which quite frankly astounded me.
"She asked for some guidance on how to approach a final interview with the CEO. She was told: 'You will need to come across very strongly, as we don’t have any females in such a senior level role, so he’ll need to be convinced that you can handle it!'
"In the age of equality, do women have to take on the persona of their male counterparts, in order to even be considered for the top roles? Most of the successful women that I know, feel they have to work twice as hard as their male counterparts, in order to get recognised in the workplace."
Sarkodee writes that women face a number of challenges when applying for senior positions in male dominated companies. She believes males often overlook female applicants because of concerns about commitment should they want to start a family, a reluctance to change the status quo, and because they foolishly equate emotional qualities with weakness.
Despite her concerns, Sarkodee is reluctant to endorse the European Commission's plans to enforce a ruling that women should make up 40% of the board in large companies by 2020.
A parliament vote is schedule to take place soon to decide whether to endorse the legislation, but she says: "My personal opinion is that a 40% ruling may render companies filling top roles with females for the sake of it, rather than hiring/promoting the best person for the job.
"Having worked in many male dominated environments throughout my career, where the ‘boys' club’ certainly existed but was never talked about, I became accepting, if not more hardened as a result."
Laura-Jane Sarkodee owns a consultancy firm called Recruiting Edge, and has a wealth of experience in internet and social recruiting.
Kenny Goodman, founder of Find the Edge, said: "Laura-Jane's article raises many pertinent issues.
"She points out that only 15% of board positions are currently occupied by women, and highlights the fact that teams with males and females in them are often more creative."
The article is available to read online at: http://www.findtheedge.co.uk/leadership/women-in-business/do-women-have-to-act-like-men-to-secure-top-jobs. More about Laura-Jane can be found at: http://www.findtheedge.co.uk/expert-panelist/laura-jane-sarkodee.
Find the Edge is a new business website designed to give leaders a competitive advantage.