The pay gap among graduates of elite business schools is widening, according to new research from Bloomberg Businessweek’s biennial survey of MBA graduates. On average, female grads from top MBA programs now earn 93¢ for every dollar paid their male classmates. At about a third of the top 30 U.S. business schools, women earn less than men—sometimes far less. Female MBA graduates from the class of 2012 at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, for instance, earned 86 percent of male wages, while those at Stanford Graduate School of Business earned 79 percent.
That’s a dramatic turnabout. In 2002, women at the top 30 MBA programs earned 98 percent of what males earned. That fell to 94.1 percent in 2004 and never really rebounded. In 2012 the figure was 93.2 percent. “The gap numbers at the beginning are not very large and can be mostly accounted for by differences in grades, course selection, and the fields people are starting in,” says Marianne Bertrand, an economics professor at University of Chicago Booth School of Business, citing results of studies on compensation among female MBA graduates from her school. “What is much more striking is how much that gap grows over time.”
In 2010, research from Catalyst, a nonprofit group that focuses on expanding opportunities for women in business, found that women MBAs were being paid, on average, $4,600 less in their first job than men, a disparity that grows to $30,000 by mid-career, says Anna Beninger, a senior associate in Catalyst’s research department. Even women placed in high-potential leadership development programs often miss out on the so-called hot jobs, or projects most critical to career advancement, Catalyst found. Says Beninger: “Women’s careers lag behind men from day one.”
Women MBAs are drawn increasingly to careers in technology, consumer products, consulting, and entrepreneurship, say placement officers. Maryellen Lamb, director of MBA career management at Wharton, says a larger proportion of women at the school are going into fields such as retail and consumer products, industries that generally don’t offer the payouts they might see in investment banking or private equity. “The inequity is not necessarily gender-specific, it is more industry-specific,” she says.
In 2010, Americans spent $11 billion on self-improvement products and services, up 13.6 percent from 2005, according to Marketdata Enterprises, an independent Tampa-based research firm. Marketdata’s John LaRosa notes that it’s an especially popular industry among affluent women on the coasts. “There’s a changing of the guard going on. As many older gurus are nearing retirement, younger, more Web-savvy gurus are emerging—ones who know how to connect with their followers on a more personal level,” he says.
Evidence is mounting that workplace factors (such as high job demands, low job control, and lack of social support) contribute to depression. One U.K. study of 972 32-year-olds published in the journal Psychological Medicine found that work stress appears to precipitate diagnosable depression and anxiety in healthy young people. Another study published in 2012 in the American Journal of Epidemiology surveyed 2,700 men and women living in Alberta from 2008 to 2011 who were not depressed. After a year, 4.5 percent of the women had developed depression, vs. 2.9 percent of men. Women who worked 35 to 40 hours per week and reported job insecurity, a high effort-reward imbalance, and work-family conflict were at a higher risk of developing depression.
For a lot of these high-achieving women, their bucket list is already becoming a reality, but they look at their life and think, ‘This isn’t what I thought it was going to be.’ 'Do I like who I am?' 'Am I happy with the person I am becoming?'
To answer honestly, we need to have crystal-clear insight into the person who bears our name and Social Security number. Let’s face it: you are the most interesting and important subject in the entire world. You will always be at or near the center of your world. It’s a comfortable place to be!
So, one of the most exciting—and, often, one of the most intimidating—experiences lies in gaining a fuller understanding of just who you are. Life is a perpetual process of becoming. To truly understand ourselves, we need to understand how we view ourselves, how others view us, and how we truly interact with others, not how we think we interact. Self-understanding means knowing what we need and how we desire to grow.
Since our entire lives are controlled by our attitudes, we must recognize the fact that our perceptions are involved in everything we think and do. A person cannot think negatively about another person and then feel good about their relationship. So, if we want successful relationships and successful lives, it is our responsibility to control what goes on in our minds.
Self-awareness requires us to recognize our personal energy fluctuations because they determine how we respond physically and mentally. Here are some self-improvement books that can help you get the life you want to live:
My granddaughter lives in Florida, is passionate about Disney World, and visits there often because, as she puts it, "That's where the real princesses live." Her favorite is Princess Belle because her name is Lilah Belle and the two of them have talked about having the same name.
Every young girl dreams about being a princess and living happily ever after. Anne Sweeney, cochair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group, is the princess running a $19 billion media kingdom who has discovered that "happy ever after" doesn't equal work/life balance.
Sweeney knows that, if you let it, work can be all consuming. "I do have a hard time around my family," says Sweeney, who avoids morning meetings and tries to leave the office by 6 PM. "For a lot of years, I read every article about time management...I think when I finally gave up on the idea of balance, it was a really happy moment. You can drown in to-do lists. Or you can have a happy, messy life. Which I do."
Today’s women are better educated than ever before. They have accumulated a wealth of skills, have learned to be adaptable, and have been told that they can do anything they want to do. The upside is that they have become independent, self-sufficient, and confident of their abilities. The downside is that they will readily admit they have not found the enjoyment or satisfaction they once imagined. The reason they attribute to the problem is that they have taken on too much. These days, most women dance to a frenzied beat, believing just because they can, they think they should. We were taught if we were capable of doing something it shouldn’t be necessary to hire it out or look for help.
This has led women to become frustrated by experiencing long days and a never-ending “To Do” list. All too often, businesswomen don’t give themselves a break. In an effort to squeeze even more into their nightmarish schedules, they make choices that actually undermine their health, their family life, their careers, and important relationships.
Both society and individuals struggle with countless expectations, too much to do in too little time, and the fact that they receive little of the support or recognition they want—and deserve.
Men with little insight into—or appreciation for—a woman’s unique predicaments, biology, and socialization patterns have attributed her problem as one of time management! They then have proceeded to write a number of articles and books suggesting how she “fix” her problem. However, their suggestions are based on what works for men—and those suggestions are largely unhelpful for women. Besides, having read many of these self-help books, it’s clear that the male authors have been fortunate enough to have had at least one woman doing a considerable amount of work for them; otherwise they couldn’t possibly fulfill all their goals and expectations on their own.
In examining this dilemma with a succession of clients, we realized that women do not automatically experience the same professional issues that men routinely face. Instead, they struggle to be all things to all people— and along the way they neglect themselves and their own priorities.
As executive and business coaches, we began our own journey to investigate the factors that are causing all the strain, stress, and frustration among generations of very bright and articulate women. What we discovered serves as the backbone for the book, "When Doing It All Won't Do: A Self-Coaching Guide for Career Women," and for the solutions, strategies, and essential tools we outline in the book. Our goal is to help women make their lives easier, richer, happier, and saner.
This book is dedicated to all those hardworking women everywhere who are willing to embrace liberating change. Believe that your situation can change and you are halfway down the road to making significant changes. Know that change always comes bearing unexpected gifts. Change starts with the right attitude and the motivation to reclaim your time and your life!
Sources: MORE magazine, December 2012/January 2013
By Tom Vanderbilt in The New Yorker Magazine, December 16, 2012
Analyzing "Jeopardy!" episodes for instances of "uptalk," or speaking with rising intonation, Thomas Linneman, a sociologist, found that it was more common in women and in incorrect answers.
Perhaps the real discovery, though, was that some women used uptalk even when winning and answering correctly. Linneman wondered if they were "engaging in a compensatory strategy...to perform their gender 'correctly.'"
Women are at a disadvantage when they communicate "like a woman" in a male-shaped corporate culture, and 81 percent of women are now "adopting a style with which male managers are comfortable."
Sound like some ridiculous regression of feminism, catering to male-chauvinism?
"A woman needs a male coach," says Agno. "Otherwise she won't have a good idea about how the other gender thinks and feels. It's still a man's world in business. Women need to learn how to talk like a man. They need to learn how to brag. They'll get what they want out of the situation by molding to the environment."
Women have, characteristically, been conditioned to speak a certain way, according to Agno. "They tend to end sentences on a high note, which implies, 'We really want to talk this over,' instead of a low note, which is more of a command."
Along with shaky vocal inflections, Agno says women aren't specific enough about their contributions to the company. They use too many words, downplaying their abilities. In the male mind, this behavior creates doubt.
Communication styles rooted in childhood training or unconscious beliefs can be tough to change. A first step is becoming aware of how you talk at work. Here are some pitfalls that women especially can encounter in the workplace:
--using too many words to deliver serious messages --downplaying your contributions --using vague language --phrasing statements as questions --using an upward inflection at the end of statements, which indicates doubt.
Working with an executive coach can help you to be clear on the communication style at your level within the company and to confidently practice this style so you will be heard at work.
The 21st century is a great time to be a woman. Women are taking on more leadership positions, starting more businesses, and earning more college and advanced degrees than ever before.
More than 200 female leaders interviewed shared a wealth of advice for navigating the workplace of the future. A few overarching themes came up time and time again. These themes represent six vital skills and attributes to cultivate when forging your career path and will be listed below.
But first we must answer the question, "Does Gender Still Matter?"
About 20% of the women interviewed said they saw no difference in the way men and women lead; good leadership, they implied, knows no gender. This leadership survey results, however, suggest that people do see distinct differences between the ways men and women lead, and view members of each gender as stronger in certain aspects of leadership than the other.
Is gender really an issue that we should be discussing in the 21st century? Are men and women really that different? Didn’t the feminist movement that began in the 70’s answer that question?
The modern reader will agree that men and women are different anatomically, but we still stumble around when asked if men and women are different in other ways as well.
Professor Steven Goldberg in his book with the provocative title, Why Men Rule – A Theory of Male Dominance, maintains that men and women are different in their genetic and hormonally driven behavior.
We would stress that this does not mean that one sex is superior or inferior to another but rather that each has different strengths and at the same time different weaknesses. He believes that the high level of testosterone in males drives them toward dominant behaviors, while high estrogen levels in women creates a natural, biological push in the direction of less dominance and more nurturing roles.
To say that men and women are the same is to deny the physical reality. Science makes it plain that males and females are different from the moment of conception. These differences are evident in the chromosomes that carry inherited traits from both the father and the mother.
Not only are men and women fundamentally different in the way their brains are wired, they are also vastly different in their physical strength and endurance. Women, on average, will only have 55 to 58 percent of the upper body strength of men and are only 80 percent as strong as a man of identical weight.
When we add to this our unique personalities, our cultural upbringing, and the environment in which we live and work, we come to appreciate why the sexes view the world differently.
It is these differences that create interpersonal problems when we have the irrational belief all men, or all women, respond in a similar manner. The truth is that both men and women routinely approach a broad range of personal and business issues quite differently.
In general, in this survey, women were rated higher than men on transformational and interpersonal skills and attributes, such as communication and empathy, whereas men were rated higher than women on strategic leadership skills and attributes, such as confidence and being strategic or visionary.
Men were rated markedly higher than women on certain attributes and skills. 72% of respondents rated men more comfortable with taking calculated risk, 77% on confidence/assertiveness, 71% on being strategic/visionary and 73% on ability to make decisions quickly. Women respondents ranked women leaders higher than male respondents did on all 10 attributes and all 10 skills.
Six Vital Skills and Attributes Women Leaders Need to Cultivate.
Education and Lifelong Learning: Most employees will have multiple careers over the course of their working lives: Baby Boomers averaged 11 jobs between the ages of 18 and 44. Who knows where the averages will end up for generation X, generation Y, and beyond. To sustain a career that may last 50 or more years, workers will need to periodically reassess and update their skill sets.
Tech Savvy: Mere technology literacy is a baseline requirement for many jobs today. Technology can change entire industries in an eyeblink. Leaders must continuously keep pace with evolving technology.
Connectivity and Networking: In person networking remains a vital skill and a key way women learn, share information and find jobs. Workers who are able to interact well both face-to-face and virtually with others will increase their value and employability.
Business Knowledge and Experience: Business and technical operations are becoming intertwined in many fields today. Business knowledge is especially important for those who want to move into leadership positions.
Confidence, Assertiveness and Risk Taking: To maximize your value, ensure that you communicate vital pieces of information and your ideas are heard and you receive credit for them. Assertiveness is also vital for those who want to be tapped for leadership positions. To be seen as a potential leader, make yourself visible for assignments that will give you a wider reach in your organization.
When women combine their authentic feminine leadership strengths with sound business acumen and advocate for themselves, they can achieve their highest aspirations for business leadership.
Today, 51% of all managerial and professional positions are held by women. Women are moving into levels of leadership where they influence strategy and guide organizational direction. Over the past decade, women's rate of advancement in the labor force has outpaced the men and more are rising to top leadership positions in organizations.
The number of women making $100,000 or more has grown at a faster pace than it has for men and in the United States, 6% of women earn at least $100,000 and as of 2010, they account for 6.3% of the top earners in the Fortune 500 companies.
Women executives in the C-Suite are good for the bottom line. Business research reveals that corporations with more women in leadership positions report higher financial performance than those fewer women in senior management.
Based on 20+ years of research with highly successful business women, Sharon Hadary and Laura Henderson, authors of "How Women Lead," repeatedly found eight key strategies that women were using to get into the success pipeline.
You are your own greatest asset. Let’s face it: you are the most interesting and important subject in the entire world. You will always be at or near the center of your world. It’s a comfortable place to be! So, one of the most exciting—and, often, one of the most intimidating—experiences lies in gaining a fuller understanding of just who you are.
On December 5, Washington Post Live will host “Leading the Way: Women in 2012,” a forum dedicated to showcasing exceptional women leaders. Leaders from many fields will discuss what has motivated them, how they overcame challenges and tell personal stories of their road to success. Each of these women who have risen to the top will also tell us a guiding motto -- what they know now, but wish they did as teenager.
“Leading the Way: Women in 2012” Speakers:
Nancy-Ann DeParle, Top Advisor to President Obama
Denyce Graves, American mezzo-soprano opera singer
Shirley Ann Jackson, President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, former head of the National Science Foundation
Cathy Lanier, Chief of Police, Metropolitan Police Department
Marne Levine, Global Public Policy, Facebook
Susan Lyne, Chairman of Gilt Groupe
Andrea Mitchell, Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, NBC News
Hilda Solis, Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor
Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, (R-Wash,), youngest female member of Congress
Katharine Weymouth, Publisher, The Washington Post
Kathleen Parker, syndicated columnist for the Washington Post
Mary Jordan, editor, Washington Post Live
“There are very few opportunities to hear from an opera singer, physicist, White House advisor, TV correspondent, CEO, and police chief all at once,” said Mary Jordan, Editor, Washington Post Live. "What these women all have in common is great success. They are leaders in their field. We look forward to hearing what they have to say about what drives them and what advice they have for younger people who want to make their mark.”
The discussion will be live-streamed at washingtonpostlive.com (no registration required). All press must request to RSVP by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Please contact us to request press credentials. Members of the press approved for credentials will be notified in advance. Valid conference press credentials are required to attend. Press without conference credentials will not be permitted to the event.
Judging from her songs, Aimee Mann doesn't seem like the happiest girl in the U.S.A.
Therefore, it was something of a surprise to find Mann a few weeks ago, offering her views on how to be happy, in a conversation with the playwright Neil LaBute, whose own work isn't noted for its high spirits, either.
Consider what the founders meant by "pursuit of happiness:" Was it conditional happiness, predicted on good fortune, or was it an unconditional, Buddhist sort of state?
Mann thought that happiness was only possible if you didn't pursue it. "You have to be in acceptance," she said. "Events of life are mostly not personal, and you can't take it personally." She added there was no point in asking why certain things happen. "We don't get to know why."
Is there a place where you find yourself happier?
Mann said that happiness had to be internal. "Looking to outside sources to make you happy is just a disaster," she said. For instance, "It's perfectly possible to play a show and have it go well and be miserable." She mentioned something she had heard at a twelve-step meeting: "I'm not going to make being cool my higher power anymore."
She also said, "If I have an impulse to help someone, it's usually in some kind of obsessive way that is rescue-y and is probably not very helpful and probably has more to do with me wanting to feel a certain way about myself."
Mann's last word on the subject came in response to a question from the audience: What is the biggest barrier to happiness?
"Lack of self-awareness," Mann replied. Even if you're aware that you're depressed? "It's a start."
Source: John Seabrook, The New Yorker, December 3, 2012
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