A New Research Report and a New Era for Be Leaderly

January 22, 2019: Today, we published our first ever research report, OUT OF THE COMFORT ZONE: How Men and Women Size Up Stretch Opportunities and Why Leaders Should Care.

In addition to the thousands of selfless volunteers (YOU!) who got involved as survey participants, we also relied on the work of lots and lots of input-givers in this community to make the study a success.

The findings here introduce you to some of the major study highlights. Here are the quick hits:

The findings here introduce you to some of the major study highlights. Here are the quick hits:

•Working women (51%) have equal, if not slightly greater, ambition than men (48%) to move into top roles ranging from VP to the C-suite.

•Study data show that women (55%) are less likely than men (65%) to be comfortable applying for a stretch role with only the ‘bare minimum’ requirements — and women (73%) are more likely than men (60%) to disagree that they “round up”, or overestimate, their skills rather than round down, or underestimate, their skills when considering a stretch job opportunity.

•Strikingly, women (67%) in our study are less likely than men (77%) to be engaged and passionate in their role. And in a potentially related finding, women are significantly more likely than men to disagree that with the statement, my company makes it easy for me to gauge my readiness to advance internally.

•Men and women differ in prioritizing the importance of exposure to key mentors and sponsors in a stretch assignment, where women (18%) are more likely to prioritize this factor than men (11%).

•Our research also reveals that men are 3.5 times more likely than women to cite ‘pay’ as an important stretch assignment determinant.

•Male and female professionals alike are motivated to take on stretch assignments when there are key factors in place, such as perceived autonomy or personal influence to lead an assignment to a positive outcome (40% women, 43% men) and alignment of the assignment with career goals (33% for both men and women).

•In the qualitative data, men and women also cite some similar logistical and personal considerations in taking on a stretch role – such as concerns around bandwidth to take on more work and increases to weekly hours worked, and family and work/life balance considerations.

We’re beyond grateful for the continued support of all our collaborators and “study buddies.”  As we challenge ourselves to make an even bigger impact on workplace cultures this year, we’re spurred on by YOU.  We’re also fired up about the work left to do to make workplaces totally welcoming and inclusive so that women can truly grow and stretch.

Want to Get Involved?

Download the report, share it with your team, and discuss how employees can get the most out of stretch opportunities (and how your organization can encourage employees to stretch.)

•Join us on February 26 for a webinar, Ready to Stretch? as part of our Emerging Leaders Series.

•Follow @BeLeaderly as we share news media coverage and updates related to the report.

•Look out for our infographic, coming soon.

Have a question or feedback about the report? Want to know more about how our consulting and research services can benefit your organization? We’d love to hear from you.

Download the PDF Report – Out of the Comfort Zone: How women and men size up stretch assignments — and why leaders should care.

Read the Press Release – Be Leaderly Releases New Research Report on How Men and Women View Stretch Opportunities.

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Selena Rezvani

Selena Rezvani is a recognized consultant, speaker and author on women and leadership.  A seasoned human capital consultant, Selena uses workplace culture assessments to help corporate clients be more inclusive and welcoming to women.  She’s also the author of two leadership books targeted at professional women – Pushback: How Smart Women Ask—and Stand Up—for What They Want (Jossey-Bass, 2012) and The Next Generation of Women Leaders (Praeger, 2009). Selena has been featured in the LA Times, Oprah.com, Todayshow.com, Forbes, and wrote an award-winning column on women for The Washington Post.

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