Women’s Success Coaching recently conducted a survey to better understand the challenges that professional women face in the workplace today. The results of the survey reveal that the top concerns are the potential for advancement at their current company, increasing workload, gender bias and politics.

In this recent survey, more than 40 percent of participants said they face challenges with career advancement. At the same time, more than 40 percent of the survey respondents indicated they are learning the importance of relationships for their career trajectory. This is an encouraging trend as managing workplace politics is critical for career advancement. By understanding how to become savvy and succeed in workplace politics without compromising one’s integrity or feminine traits, women thrive in leadership.

The recent survey also revealed that 30 percent of professional women do not know their value proposition.

Understanding your value proposition and learning how to confidently communicate how your work benefits the organization is  important  for career advancement. As the survey indicated, there is a large opportunity for women to reflect on what value they bring to the workplace, and position their strengths across the organization with key decision makers for their individual success.

Other Key Findings:

  • Increasing Workload – More than 30 percent of women surveyed said they are challenged with an increasing workload. These findings align with a recent EY study that indicated around the world, 46 percent of managers are now working more than 40 hours per week with 40 percent saying their hours have increased over the last five years. With employers encouraging their employees to do more with less, Women’s Success Coaching sees professional women often stuck in the “doer” trap of taking on additional work that does not benefit their careers. While a woman may be viewed in the workplace as the “go to person,” she is not perceived as having leadership potential. Women in leadership roles thrive by delegating tasks more effectively and empowering their teams.
  • Gender Bias and Equal Gender Representation Insights – More than 25 percent of survey respondents indicated that gender bias is a top concern, and 58 percent said there is there isn’t equal gender representation in their workplace. The top reason professional women surveyed believe women are promoted in their company is due to great performance, while survey respondents perceive that men are promoted because they engage in office politics.

However, Women’s Success Coaching has seen with its hundreds of clients that women who rely on performance alone have a disadvantage – they lack the social and political capital to position themselves for success.

  • Sponsorship Program Adoption – Thirty-four percent of professional women respondents indicated they do not know what a sponsorship program is and many respondents said their workplace does not offer one. Sponsorship programs link high-level executives with high-potential employees to help those employees catapult their careers.

While sponsorship programs are not near as common as mentorship programs, they can be powerful in that they create career-building opportunities for the protege, while positioning the participating executive as a champion of high achievers and one who positively impacts business success.

What are your challenges in the workplace today? Are you facing similar challenges? I would love to hear from you.