Dr. Racioppi of Women UNLIMITED INC. recently wrote an article on the 3 main obstacles hindering women’s advancement in the workplace. Racioppi is well positioned to provide such analysis as she has worked for the last 24 years with organizations that are eager to move women into leadership positions. She has found that even organizations with best of intentions can sometimes fall into the common traps that hamper female employees from making it to the top ranks.
The first cause Racioppi identifies is the belief that hard work alone is enough to move women into leadership positions. Some women believe that producing superior quality work will always set them up for advancements. Racioppi contends that women need to be more strategic in the work that they do. A good job simply is not enough, the work needs to be visible and have a meaningful impact on the organization.
The second obstacle Racioppi outline is the failure to develop career building relationships. Recent surveys report a surprising fact, nearly half of all mid-career women have never had a mentor. Mentors can provide guidance and offer career jumps. Racioppi advocates that women actively seek out mentors early in their careers and maintain or build new relationships as they move along in their careers.
The last obstacle preventing women from gain leadership positions is the tendency to wait, rather than seek out new career opportunities. If women playing the waiting game hoping to get noticed, they can miss out on important stretch roles. Racioppi has observed that male counterparts are often more confident and willing to take a risk on with new and challenging work. Racioppi advocates that women need to be more confident and actively request those same stretch opportunities.