by Nathania Zevi
Most of lady managers are deeply convinced that bringing up a child can improve one’s leadership skills. Nevertheless, 50 per cent of working women still consider maternity an obstacle to their career.
On one thing they all agree. Bringing up a child is an experience which should be inserted in every woman’s resume. Especially in a country like Italy. where the welfare state is almost totally based on family.
In fact maternity and growing up a child provide a woman with particular skills that may turn out to be extremely useful also in the professional field.
However, many lady managers consider being a mother a double-edged weapon.
This is the result of an opinion poll carried out, at international level, on a panel of lady managers by Korn/Ferry, a company specialized in executive research and talent management. 95% of the interviewees think that bringing up a child provided them with unique talent like being able to motivate and inspire others, more quickness and more self confidence.
OBSTACLE TO CAREER. Despite 6 women out of 10 consider technology has had a positive impact on family-work balance, 45% of companies lady managers are convinced that being mothers has been “ quite” an obstacle to their chances of career growth. 8% think that maternity has limited their career”considerably”. 19% of women have postponed having a baby and 10% have renounced because of their job.
“ Furthermore from the survey comes out that, in everyday life, it is difficult to eradicate the opinions regarding this issue”, Barbara Valaperti, Korn/Ferry senior consultant says – the women of our panel are equally divided on the question whether ther is still a “ crystal ceiling” limiting their professional growth”.
With regard to this issue , 27% of the interviewees answered yes ; 23% answered no, 50% are uncertain.
“ One thing is for sure” Barbara Valaperti concludes “everywhere in the world, there are still in companies, 15% less women as managers than men, as well as there is a pay gap at all levels of leadership, even at top positions. On the same level women earn 25% less than their male colleagues”.