Unequal access to "hot jobs" obstructs women's careers: report

Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:48pm EST
 
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Women around the globe are blocked from advancing in their careers because of unequal access to high visibility jobs and international experience, according to a new report.

After graduate school, women start at lower level jobs than men and receive less pay, and the gender gap just gets wider as their careers progress, the study by non-profit group Catalyst showed.

"There are certain of those on-the-job experiences that really predict advancement, and they are high visibility projects, having mission-critical roles and getting international experience," said Christine Silva, senior director, research at Catalyst and the lead author of the study.

"The main finding here is that women get fewer of all of these critical experiences than men do," she added in an interview.

Catalyst's findings are based on online surveys of 1,660 high potential alumni who graduated from business school between 1996 and 2007.

The graduates, both men and women, from Asia, Canada, Europe and the United States are part of a long-term study to understand career paths from the classroom to the boardroom and what is most likely to close the gender gap.

Although women make up nearly half of the workforce in the United States, in 2011 they earned only 77 cents for each dollar earned by a man, making a wage gap of 23 percent, according to the Institute for Women's Policy Research.

They earned less than men in nearly every occupation.   Continued...

 
A generic picture of a woman in an office using a computer mouse. OFFPO REUTERS/Catherine Benson