Why Do Women Find It Difficult To Get Promoted at Work?

Why Do Women Find It Difficult To Get Promoted at Work?

Job opportunities are very different for men and women, something that can be seen when it comes to getting a promotion.

Job opportunities are very different for men and women, something that can be seen when it comes to getting a promotion.

Society is changing… and jobs should do the same. Especially when it comes to job opportunities between genders. Historically, there has always been inequality in access to the same job. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), there is a gender gap between men's and women's jobs.

According to a report by this organization, it's much more difficult for women to get a job. While the current labor participation rate for women is 49%, the rate for men is 75%. However, even in cases where women manage to get a job, it is much more difficult for them to get a promotion.

In other words, women seem to have to "make do" with the initial position they were given at the time they were hired, but the conditions are not always created for them to grow within the company, even in cases where they are qualified or have excellent performance. Let's see why this happens and what happens in cases where women end up moving up in the job.

Women promoted at work

The study The Old Boys Club: Schmoozing and the Gender Gap, done by the National Bureau of Economic Research, reveals that men appear to have an advantage over their female counterparts in corporate-power structures. We are talking about a gap that can be as high as 40% within organizations.

There it was observed that men are promoted much more quickly if their managers are men. In contrast, the women who were promoted did so regardless of whether their managers were men or women, which seems to indicate that there is a certain complicity among men in maintaining their power relations.

The study indicates that the decision for a manager to promote a male employee would be based on the fact that it is due to socialization between the genders. Even in terms of performance, the men who had obtained such promotion had not increased their working hours, nor were there changes in productivity to justify such a decision.

At the same time, this could be based on the fact that there is still mistrust about women's leadership in important positions today. A study by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) indicated that almost half of the world's population believes that men make better political and business leaders than women.


This could reveal why there is still unequal treatment in the labor market in terms of growth opportunities. In other words, many companies seem only interested in filling the gender quota -if any- when hiring new women but don't create equal conditions for a promotion in relevance and visibility.

This occupational difference is much more evident in certain areas commonly associated with masculinity, such as technology, science, mathematics, engineering, civil construction, metallurgy, or the oil sector. On the other hand, areas such as teaching, nursing or psychology seem to have greater authority or, at least, equal conditions with men.

In addition, it is mentioned that women are two-thirds less likely than men to get a promotion at work after having children. This is because, even today, there is a belief that women are the only ones who should take care of the family upbringing, which would "hinder" their career development.

That is not all. Assuming that women do make it up the corporate ladder, gender roles are still present, even within the family. Research by Uppsala University and Stockholm University revealed that relationships are affected after a woman gets a promotion.

Basically, when a woman gets better pay or a higher job position, the chances of a breakup increase. This is because the traditional roles change, as we were used to that men are always the ones who get that position. If the woman gets a better job, the man may feel "humiliated."

At the same time, as women have to focus more on their careers and spend more time away from home, men have to take on greater responsibilities within the home, such as childcare. As roles must be renegotiated because career expectations have changed, many men may not accept this new reality.

In short, women have greater difficulties than men when it comes to getting a job. If they do get a job, the patriarchal structure of many companies will make it more difficult for them to climb the internal ladder. In the hypothetical case of their promotion, this could cause problems on a personal level, since men do not always accept the results.

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