Study: Lack of access to ‘hot jobs’ hurts women

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There may be plenty of “hot jobs” around, but women for the most part aren’t the ones landing them, according to a new study.

Men continue to get the lion’s share of the most challenging jobs – those with high visibility, mission-critical responsibilities and international exposure, according to employment trend researchers at Catalyst. Those jobs also lead to higher promotions and bigger salaries.

In a survey of 1,660 MBA graduates from leading business schools in the U.S., Europe, Canada and Asia, Catalyst found:

• Men reported leading projects with bigger budgets (more than twice the size of women’s), larger teams (more than three times as many staff), that posed higher risk to the company (30% of men vs. 22% of women), and had more high-level visibility (35% of men vs. 26% of women).

• Men reported having roles with more critical responsibility—for profit and loss (56% of men vs. 46% of women), management of direct reports (77% of men vs. 70% of women), and budgets over $10 million (30% of men vs. 22% of women).

• 62 percent of respondents said high-profile assignments that gave them leadership experience had the greatest impact on their careers, while only 10 percent cited formal training programs as most impactful.

• More men than women got “hot jobs” after being in formal leadership development programs, and more men were promoted within a year of program completion (51% of men vs. 37% of women).

The bottom line, according to Catalyst President and CEO Ilene H. Lang, is that  “high-potential women” have a greater chance of advancing if they are offered more critical assignments with leadership roles.

“Clearly, access to the ‘hot jobs’ and to senior-level sponsors with clout to create that access can make a dramatic difference in closing the persistent gender gap,” Lang said about the report.

Are you being given an opportunity to compete for the hottest jobs in your industry?

5 comments Add your comment


November 14th, 2012
2:46 pm

I hope we elect a woman to be President soon so we can stop reading articles like this….ha, who am I kidding. First we have no idea about the 1660 graduates or whether they all graduated at the same time with the same degree from the same university etc. Second I keep reading that this recession has hit men far harder than women. Third, when I see the hot jobs listing, most seem to have far more women than men except for IT. These include healthcare and accounting/finance which are both dominated by women. Ok, quit your complaining and get back to work!

Big Al

November 14th, 2012
3:19 pm

The only thing keeping women from hot jobs is women. They are their own worst enemy. They slack off way too much. When I was an administrator at a hospital I caught one of my employees hosting a baby shower for one of her co-workers on company time. I fired everyone involved and reported them to their state licensing board.


November 14th, 2012
3:46 pm

The only thing keeping me from a “hot job” is a hot interview.


November 14th, 2012
4:01 pm

Big Al: Did you write this blog on company time? Fire yourself then. You never allow any kind of gatherings or celebrations, like retirement luncheons, etc? If they spent 2 hours partying and THEN went off the lunch, ok, but it just seems a bit harsh to me. In any case, it’s obvious you are quite the chauvinist.

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