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Bentley Millennial Survey Reveals Men Seen as Better Prepared for Career Success

Bentley Millennial Survey Reveals Men Seen as Better Prepared for Career Success

“While respondents see women as better prepared for their first jobs after graduating from college, respondents give men the advantage while it comes to the likelihood of overall career success.”

Elizabeth Hoyt

May 16, 2014

Gender equality. We’ve come a long way – or have we?

Many would like to think so, however, occasionally a study comes out that makes you stop and think.

One such study was part of Bentley University’s The PreparedU Project entitled, “Millennial Women in the Workplace: Perceptions, Realities, Challenges and Solutions.”

The survey’s findings detail some interesting opinions regarding millennials, gender association with skills and gender bias within the workplace.

Male vs. Female: Who is Better at What?

Let’s cut to the chase and start with the key finding in the study, shall we?

“While respondents see women as better prepared for their first jobs after graduating from college, respondents give men the advantage while it comes to the likelihood of overall career success.”

But, why?

The study found that “women are seen as much better suited to success when it comes to specific qualities like organizational skills and interpersonal and communication skills, with men and women alike agreeing that women have an advantage in these areas.”

In fact, 82 percent of business leaders agreed, saying that women are more skillful at communication and interpersonal skills.

So, clearly those surveyed acknowledged plenty of women’s capabilities. Respondents acknowledged men’s finer qualities, too.

“When it comes to leadership skills and entrepreneurial spirit, respondents overwhelmingly believe that men are better suited to succeed.”

However, not all capabilities were agreed upon by both genders.

“Overall, respondents are split almost evenly on whether men or women are better suited for success when it comes to decision-making skills. Men overwhelming think that men are better suited to make decisions (63%), but women overwhelmingly think that women are better suited to make decisions (62%).”

Gender Bias in the Workplace

The research study also found that “millennial women have confidence in their career skills and abilities to succeed long term, specifically skills that are valued by business leaders.”

That being said, the gender bias within the workplace remains quite strong. Ultimately, men remain seen as superior in terms of lifelong career success preparedness.

The study found that this bias is “based on general perception rather than concrete evidence….despite the fact that women are indeed believed by business decision makers and corporate recruiters to be well equipped for success.”

Potential Solutions

The study suggests potential solutions, asking male and female respondents, as well as business leaders, whether they agree with the approaches.

A work-life balance approach – 56 percent of women, 47 percent of men and 56 percent of business leaders feel that working to help women recognize that they can have both a successful career and a successful home life (being a parents, spouse, partner, etc.) may help women succeed within the workplace.

Mentorship – 57 percent of women, 44 percent of men and 62 percent of female business decision makers agreed that women-specific mentorship programs encouraging young women to enter business.

Networking events plus mentorship – Half of women and one-third of men agreed that women-specific networking events combined with mentorship programs may help prepare women succeed in business.

Business leaders were also divided – half of both female business decision makers and corporate recruiters agreed whereas 36-41% percent of male business decision makers and corporate recruiters agreed that networking events might help. Around 60 percent of female business decision makers and corporate recruiters agreed that corporate mentorship programs might aid in women’s success compared to 34-39% of their male counterparts.

About the Survey

Bentley University’s The PreparedU Project entitled, “Millennial Women in the Workplace: Perceptions, Realities, Challenges and Solutions” was conducted in 2013 by KRC Research.

The survey was given to 3,149 respondents from nine relevant groups: business decision-makers, corporate recruiters, higher education influentials, parents of high school students (juniors and seniors only), parents of college students, high school students (juniors and seniors only), college students, recent college graduates (those who graduated within the past five years) and members of the general public (U.S. adults ages 18 and over).

The survey consisted of more than 300 questions relating to 11 different themes. The margin of sampling error for the total sample is plus or minus 1.75% at the 95% confidence level.

Learn more about The PreparedU Project.

What do you think about this study? Do you have any suggestions for potential solutions?


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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    jessclover

    2 months ago

    2 comments

    Changing women's confidence in themselves isn't the problem, it's changing the perspective of the business leaders.. Maybe we should mentor them?

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