It has been claimed that initiatives promoting gender diversity are not achieving what they were set up to do and are focusing on the wrong priorities.
Research conducted by IBM firm Kenexa has suggested that workplace schemes designed to drive the career progression of female employees are instead placing too much emphasis on career satisfaction.
Furthermore, the study found that what made women feel as though they were achieving was different from what they actually needed to do to gain the promotion to which they were aspiring, reports HR Magazine.
According to the survey – which questioned 3,000 male and female professionals – the three most influential factors when it came to obtaining career progression were the ability to network on a political level, getting involved in “critical” job assignments and demonstrating risk-embracing seeking of opportunities.
However, only the latter characteristic was listed as a component that women saw as something that made an impact in terms of how satisfied they felt with how their career was going. Instead, they viewed having access to fair HR processes as an element that could help them get promoted, while another important aspect to have was a line manager who believed in their potential.
Ines Wichert, author of the report and senior psychologist at the High Performance Institute, said this gap of what women felt should matter and what actually made a difference could go some way towards explaining why it takes longer for female employees to get into the top positions in business.
“After all, feeling satisfied with our career progression opportunities is no guarantee to securing the next promotion,” she added.
Ms Wichert also suggested companies should take note of the report’s findings if they wanted to move towards keeping their female workforce happy on a long-term basis.
She commented: “Employers need to take this on board when planning initiatives to support gender diversity, to make sure that women not only stay in the company, but also move up the career ladder.”