Much has been written about the lack of gender diversity in the working world and the
gender gap for equal pay for equal work. Women not only observe a workplace biased against
them; they believe they are disadvantaged by it. Senior-level women view their gender as a bigger disadvantage than entry-level women do. They are less likely to view their organization as
meritocratic and more likely to think that women have fewer opportunities. They are also more
likely to believe that their gender has made it harder for them to advance compared to their
male peers. Sadly, in general, CEO’s don’t widely perceive gender diversity to be a priority. The
changes must start at the Best.
In 2014, Fortune conducted a survey of 542 partner-level venture capital businesses. Twenty-three of them were led by women. Fortune compared it to their list of Fortune 500 female CEOS,
of which 4.6% are women. In the same year, Harvard business school conducted a study of financial
backing for startups. The results? Attractive men have disproportionate success in obtaining venture
capital funding for startups, compared with women and with less physically appealing men. In fact,
only seven percent of venture capital funding goes to women-owned businesses.
In our feature on work-life balance in the July/August 2016 magazine, we found and pre-
sented many challenges that women face in the workplace that are not necessarily unique to
women, but, may affect women disproportionately. Some of the causes for gender inequality in
sheer numbers are affected by factors like:
• Career choices for positions of increased responsibility or a great job that requires
geographic relocation may be impeded by women’s desire to support the family or their
established non-work activities, or their lack of desire to take on the additional stress
unique to women in Best positions.
• Accessibility by text messages, phone calls, and emails contributes to constant connection
to work and disrupts quality family time or downtime. Technological advances create an
‘always-on’ culture which is ramping up pressure for people to be constantly available to
work. Researchers have discovered this phenomenon is more than inconvenient and that
recreational time completely free of work is essential to help the body recuperate.
• The “Sandwich Generation” is a term coined in 2006 by Carol Abaya, a journalist and
nationally-recognized expert on aging and elder/parent care issues, and it refers to the
group of people between the ages of 40 and 65, who are simultaneously caring for their
children and their parents. With an aging population and a generation of young adults
struggling to achieve financial independence, the burdens and responsibilities of Americans in their primary occupational and professional years are increasing dramatically.
• Working harder and longer may be perceived as the remedy for the myth that women
are not suited for Best management and to debunk the justifications for the lack of women’s progress. The way women are perceived and treated by management, coworkers,
and subordinates, however, may influence them to perform differently than they would in
the absence of the apparent perception and treatment.
For Mortgage WOMEN Magazine, the bottom line is this: If women experience more difficulty than men finding and occupying executive and senior management roles and the mortgage
industry falls short of most other industry sectors, it is Mortgage WOMEN Magazine’s goal to be
a catalyst for that positive change.
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