mentioned it. You didn’t even want to pretend that there was another part to your life thatwas quite important outside work. But that was part of the work environment of the time – itis very different now.Over half the participants suggest that women have had to work harder to gain similarrecognition in their careers compared with similar male colleagues. They felt they werenot recognized as being fully committed and were always trying to prove themselves, aview supported by the following quote:I am not sure if we [women] still have to prove ourselves, but certainly we had to in the past. Iknow for me to get where I got, I had to work twice as hard [as male colleagues] to provemyself and to be taken seriously.JMP23,5610
The increase in dual-career couples has impacted on the changing attitudes inorganizationsasmennowsharesomeoftheroleswiththefollowingquoterepresentative of this view:Now if I look at my peer group level, most of the men’s partners would actually be working aswell. That does make the working environment much easier. I hear the men giving out forexample saying I have to do the cre`che today etc. I am now allowed [to talk about my family].At mid-career, the participants expressed that they have worked many years but seethemselves as having another 15-20 years ahead. However, they have always perceivedit as their own responsibility to take care of their career direction in the past and nowinto the future. Many of the participants advanced their careers to a high level whilethey reared their children. There were some offers of promotion that they rejectedbecause of the need to change location or country and were not prepared to do becauseof the cost to their family.Many times I didn’t go for jobs because it would require a move to the US or Europe. To mefamily security and happiness would have to come first. I would have passed up quite a fewpromotions.The working mothers, having perceived themselves as being responsible for their owncareer in the past, are now taking even more control of their future career direction inmid-career transition. They are assessing their values and making choices about howmuch of themselves they want to invest in the various spheres of their lives in thefuture. Many of the interviewees alluded to being at a “crossroads” in terms ofplanning their next career move. One of the respondents from the Banking sector hasconsidered going for promotion in the past. On the most recent occasion, she declinedgoing for this position but says that part of her will always regret that she did notapply, because she would have enjoyed the challenge but felt that the costs to herfamily and herself far outweighed the benefits and expresses her view as follows:I wrote down the pros and cons of going for the promotion. The cons included reduced qualityof life, pressure of work, stress of work, hours of work. . .negative impact on the family and in
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- Fall '19