Are There Differences in What Women and Men State as Career Needs and Goals?

“Grow in my current role.”& “Personal growth.” 

“Financial security.” & “Growth in earnings.”

These are two sets of responses gathered working with our clients and with Horizon Point and MatchFIT team members when posing the question, “What do you want out of your career?” as a part of our Leaders as Career Agents Process

Which pair do you think came from men and which one do you think came from women?   

Although not a scientific study, I have seen over and over again how the majority of men focus on the financial aspects of career growth and plans whereas women focus on getting intrinsic satisfaction from that growth.   Both men and women cite impact and influence on others in career growth fairly equally as I’ve seen it.

There are a million reasons that play into these differences and similarities I would venture to guess, but I think the reality of this is important. 

If you are a leader facilitating some type of solicitation of this type of information, I would encourage you to help balance these discussions if they are weighted more heavily towards financial or personal growth needs by asking open-ended questions like:

  • Tell me what your thoughts are on your current compensation and where you’d like to see yourself move throughout your career in terms of pay and rewards?
  • Tell me about your personal growth and learning goals?  What would you like to be exposed to? Who would you like to learn from and what would you like to learn?
  • How do you see yourself giving back to the organization and others throughout your career? 

Finally, as a leader, take ownership in helping people understand what they are worth and driving them towards the learning and development that helps them reach their financial needs and desires.  Engage in helping people feel comfortable talking about both. 

What differences have you seen, if any, between what women and men state as career needs? 



Mary Ila Ward

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