As outlined in this Globe & Mail story, there are several tendencie that account for this: women want the competence to be “completely unassailable” before putting themsleves forward; distaste for self-promotion makes them less likely to toot their own horns; women managers want to finish the jobs they started before moving on.
Unfortunately, some of these are the very characteristics that make woman candidates better for the job, according to Burke:
Ironically the very qualities that hold women back from putting themselves forward for higher roles – being cautious and risk-averse – also make them better in those roles. That means, Dr. Burke said, “they are not only doing a disservice to themselves, but also to the company, because you end up not having the best people doing these jobs. So there’s costs all round.”
Dave Webb is a freelance editor and writer. A veteran journalist of more than 20 years' experience (15 of them in technology), he has held senior editorial positions with a number of technology publications. He was honoured with an Andersen Consulting Award for Excellence in Business Journalism in 2000, and several Canadian Online Publishing Awards as part of the ComputerWorld Canada team.
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