Data shared by Shenomics – a leadership platform that trains, coaches, and mentors women – shows that two in 10 women want to join the C-suite, and six in 10 women have drawn out a 3–5-year roadmap for their career.
To reach the C-suite, the respondents said they are getting access to mentors and sponsors, receiving professional development/leadership training (internally and externally), getting access to challenging roles and responsibilities, as well as active feedback from managers, being mentored by senior leaders and given opportunities for one-on-one coaching.
The survey had respondents from three categories of professionals (in equal proportion) – aspiring women leaders (women professionals with around 12-15 years of experience, who have expressed an interest to grow as leaders, and in some cases explicitly stated an intention to grow into C-suite executives), women in top roles (senior women leaders with 17+ years of experience, holding influential leadership positions within their organisations), and senior executives (senior leaders – male and female – who make key hiring decisions for top roles).
“Most women have short and long-term goals, in terms of knowing what designation they want to be in three or five years or the kind of responsibilities they would like to take on. However, many don’t have a clear plan or much detail about how to move to that level. There is also a lack of clarity around which competency gaps they need to fill,” Bhavna Toor, CEO and founder, Shenomics, told ET.
To achieve professional growth, respondents said they are seeking out and speaking to multiple mentors, asking for stretch assignments/taking on more responsibilities, seeking feedback from and having regular career-related conversations with senior managers, upskilling in core domain areas or learning latest technologies, and investing in coaching.
Women said they want supportive actions from their organisations – 42% said they want to be provided access to challenging roles and responsibilities, 28% said they want access to mentors and sponsors, and 20% said they want access to development training (internally and externally).
Respondents also recommended support that they feel will accelerate their growth – overcoming inner critic/hesitation to speak up (50%), more clarity around career goals (48%), overcoming fear of rejection and failure (41%), support from managers and leaders (34%), and absence of gender bias at work (20%).