- After the release of audio with presidential candidate Donald Trump openly speaking of sexually harassing women, conversation has opened up over the commonality of such comments — and their long-reaching impact on many aspects of womens' lives, including their careers.
- Many women throughout their professional lives must calculate and weigh an "opportunity cost" when presented with certain opportunities (networking, late night meetings, attending conferences) that could present professional gains, but come with perceived risk of harassment, writes Amanda Taub for The New York Times.
- As women get set aside for promotions even at the beginning of their careers, conversations on empowering women at work may need to consider this angle.
This election cycle, perhaps more than others in recent memory, has stirred up questions about gender in the workplace, be it through discussions of parental leave or — as in this case — issues of sexual harassment coming to the forefront.
Women leaving the promotion pipeline is a well documented issue with causes ranging the gamut, from taking family caretaking positions (motherhood, parent care) or struggling against being in the minority within the workplace.
These sound bites, however, have started conversations noting the subtle, but key differences in life and work experience women may face compared to men. Men tend to receive more feedback, obtain more access to senior leaders and are substantially less likely to be seen as "bossy" when negotiating for a raise or promotion. Struggling against these very stereotypes is one reason why women often must make these "calculations," as Taub calls them, since a woman may not know if the man they are conversing with is able to see past his unconscious biases.
Pinning down why these issues occur is a continuing issue for HR leaders. Many have opted to solve it by making equality an active priority. To keep women in the pipeline, sometimes you have to build one.