You are here

Women Less Likely to Apply for Executive Roles If They’ve Been Rejected Before

Rejection in the business world is discouraging. And for women executives, it occurs 1.5 times more than it does for men, according to a new survey of 10,000 senior executives in the United Kingdom, reports the Harvard Business Review (HBR).

Although women make up 40 percent of the global workforce, they hold only 24 percent of senior management roles worldwide — a figure that has not changed significantly over the past decade. Of chief executive officers of S&P 500 firms, only about 5 percent are females.

Among the reasons why talented women do not move up are explicit discrimination and promotion processes that quietly favor men. “But one of the most perplexing [reasons] is that women themselves aren’t as likely as men to put themselves forward for leadership roles through promotions, job transfers and high-profile assignments,” HBR writes.

And the reason for this, according to the survey, is because “women were much less likely to apply for a job if they had been rejected for a similar job in the past.”