Spring is almost here – and it is the season of our discontent. And by that I mean women in the working world. And if you’re not there yet as a student, you soon will be. And if you’re like me, you will be surprised by the recent results of a survey of female professionals and how they feel about their jobs.

Accenture, a management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company, this month released the results of a global survey called “Reinvent Opportunity: Looking Through a New Lens.” Its research included conversations with about 3,400 professionals in 29 countries. The survey was in response to the company’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day (which is on March 8, officially).

The survey found that a little less than half of men and women said they were satisfied with their current jobs. However, nearly three-quarters of women (70 percent) said they planned to stay with their companies. Really? If you’re unhappy – and it’s spring, a time of growth and rebirth – then shouldn’t you be thinking about going back to school to get additional training or a degree? Or perhaps you should be looking for a new job?

The survey goes on to say the top reasons for dissatisfaction are: being underpaid, a lack of opportunity for growth, no opportunity for career advancement and feeling trapped. Ugh. All descriptors I don’t want to have about any work that I do. That just sounds like a recipe for trouble – eventually, someone is going to start acting out or yelling or both.

Interestingly, the Accenture research notes that women and men think about “career advancement” differently. Nearly 70 percent of women believe the female gender has advanced in the workplace because of our work ethic (we work like dogs, admit it) and our commitment to getting the job done (translated, this means long hours). However, only half of men think that is true.

Sheesh. Just when you think that we are coming together and starting to agree with one another. Truly, Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus – forever.

Two more points grabbed my eye. First, more than 80 percent of employers do not offer training or networking programs exclusively for women. And Women are less likely to say they have asked for a pay increase or a promotion.

Sigh. This is not good findings for the females. Granted, I’ve been out of the workforce in a traditional sense for about five years now. My co-workers are in preschool and kindergarten. But I still have to deal with bosses, I still have to ask for raises and I still have to negotiate how much I get paid. That means getting tough on people – and myself – when the timing is right.

Now, I’m from Metro Detroit. There are few if any jobs out here. So I’m not advocating walking off the job if you aren’t walking on clouds every time you walk in the door. I’d like everyone to have a job – any job – if it means the difference between starving and surviving. That said, your sense of self-worth is worth something.

So, this spring, let’s re-evaluate where you stand. If you’re reading this, you’re probably already a mom, in school, just about to start or thinking of starting. You’re taking positive moves right there. Keep it up. Don’t let fear or worry stand in your way of improving yourself. Yes, a low-paying job might be your first step in the door. But that doesn’t mean it has to be the last step. Keep pushing yourself to do more, try something new, reach for the next challenge that will get you to that proverbial “corner office.” And let’s change those survey results for the next go-around. Maybe the 101th anniversary will give the working woman a better place to stand.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *