Myth busting about female ambition

When push comes to shove, women just aren’t as ambitious as men.

Right?

Wrong.

Generation F, a report released by Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) and Hay Group, reveals that women are just as likely as men to want promotions, pay rises and careers. 

The findings reveal that myths, assumptions and biases continue to prevent Generation F – all women in the Australian labour force aged between 16 and 65 years- from fully participating in rewarding careers and contributing to our nation’s economic growth.

“Like their male counterparts, the majority of Generation F, whether single, married, with or without children, aspire to a role involving either more or equal responsibility over the next few years,” the report found after analysing data from an online survey and focus groups held in 2006.

A similar study in the US presented the same results, revealing that female and male executives aspire to occupy the most senior role in an organisation in almost identical numbers (55 per cent of women and 57 per cent of men).

The EOWA report found that women who do leave a difficult workplace are more likely to find it convenient to say they lack ambition or simply want to focus on the family.  This perpetuates age-old stereotypes that contribute to the difficult working environment in the first place.  And of course, it lets organisations off the hook.

Business is not delivering for a large percentage of our workforce.  We need to embrace flexible work environments and recognise that our female workforce is skilled, but ready to move on quickly if an employer fails to satisfy their needs.

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