Career Advancement Tactics and Women MBAs

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It seems logical that doing the right thing would get someone ahead on the job. But according to a new report from Catalyst, a non-profit organization dedicated to women's advancement in the workplace, post-MBA men benefited more from using proactive career advancement strategies than their female counterparts, even when the same strategies were used.

The organization also found that when women used the same tactics as men, women still had a slower rate of pay growth.

Myth of the Ideal Worker

In the report titled "The Myth of the Ideal Worker: Does Doing All the Right Things Really Get Women Ahead?", the career advancement strategies employed by executive women had little to do with promotions on the job. Interestingly, men who used the most proactive career tactics moved more quickly up the corporate ladder than other men who didn't.

Regardless of chosen career strategy, the study showed that men outpace women in rate of advancement and compensation growth-starting with a $4,600 gap in their first post-MBA jobs and growing to $31,258 mid-career.

Proven Performance vs. Potential Performance

The research also pointed out that women seemed to be paid for "proven performance" vs. their male counterparts who seemed to be paid for potential. Women were rewarded for staying put at a company, with women who changed jobs two or more times post-MBA earning $53,472 less than women who rose up the ranks at their first job.

Essentially, women's compensation grew at a faster rate when they stayed with the same employer, where they had a proven track record versus getting a position with a new employer and being paid for potential. However, men who jumped from their first job post-MBA took home $13,743 more than men who stayed with their first employer.

Make Work Achievements Known

The report also noted that the same career tactics didn't work for men and women. Women advanced up the ranks and enjoyed a salary boost when they made their work achievements known. Making their achievements known did not impact men's careers. However, men relied on working long hours and looking for better outside opportunities to help them rise up the ranks. Networking with professionals higher up the ranks did seem to work for men and women.

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