By definition, independence means the freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like of others. Sadly, many women are opting to ‘go it alone’ to the top when it comes to climbing the corporate ladder.
Here are some current statistics on women in the workforce and how far an independent mind set is getting them.
Full time women working are earning on average 80.9 cents for every dollar earned by a man working full-time, according to figures assembled from federal labor and Census reports by Catalyst.
In 2012, the median weekly earnings for full-time working women was $691, compared with $854 for men.
With professional degrees, women make $1,415 compared with $1,836 for men.
Women make up almost 45 percent of the workforce; they represent only 4.2 percent of the management of Fortune 500 and Fortune 1,000 companies. They make up 14 percent of the top jobs of all U.S. corporations and represent 17 percent of corporate board membership.
The shortage of females in leadership positions may be tied to the way women are conditioned by social norms: inept to compete with men, unable to ask for the raise, not assertively expressing opinions – or worse – being pegged as “bitchy”. Then add the desire to start a family and trying to figure out where career fits in.
Independence for some women is a slippery slope because it conjures up the notion of isolation in the struggle to earn a seat at the table. But it doesn’t have to be.
Work and independence is the delicate balance of ‘me’ and ‘we’.
Knowing when to ask for help from another, understanding how to build relationships and being open to learning how to sort out this thing we called career is deeply needed as more women seek power at work.
Mostly, it’s the ability to put one’s ego aside and work alongside another team member – even if you don’t like them.
One of my clients’s put it perfectly at the bottom of her email signature. It reads:
“If you want to go fast, go alone if you want to go far, go together”