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Men vs. women in career advancement: Who's winning?

If you've been in the workforce for a while, you probably know how to get ahead. No-brainers such as staying late and networking with higher-ups are probably part of your repertoire. That should help you get that upper hand at work, right? Not so fast, especially if you're a woman, says a new study by Catalyst.

According to "The Myth of the Ideal Worker: Does Doing All The Right Things Really Get Women Ahead?" report, common career strategies are often useless to women. The study revealed that taking on new assignments to develop extra skills and letting the boss they were willing to work long hours had no impact on women's advancement or their salaries, writes BNET's Kimberly Weisul.

Catalyst polled 3,345 young professionals on what kind of career advancement strategies they had used and found that the same career advancement strategies don't always work as well for women as they do for men. For example, doing all the right things doesn't level the playing field for women. Even when women used tactics that were known to help professionals advance, they still did so less than their male counterparts and had slower pay growth.

For men, switching jobs spend up compensation growth but slowed it for women. Men who were at their second post-MBA employer on average earned nearly $14,000 more by 2008 than those who stayed with their first-post MBA employer. In contrast, changing jobs seemed to have a negative effect on women's compensation growth.

But what did work best for women in terms of career advancement were making their achievements known and gaining access to powerful individuals. For men, gaining access to powerful people also contributed to greater advancement. However, in terms of compensation growth, men most effectively upped their salary by conducting external scans and showing a willingness to work long hours, the report found.

Posted on Oct 14, 2011 at 12:19 PM


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