Workers Lack C-Suite Aspirations: Study
Businesses may need to work a lot harder to find and groom new future leaders.
A national CareerBuilder survey found that only 34% of workers aspire to leadership positions, only 7% are aiming for a senior or C-level management and 20% of workers feel his or her organization has a glass ceiling – an unseen barrier preventing women and minorities from reaching higher job levels.
Forty percent of men are more likely than women (29%) to desire a leadership role.
However, African Americans (39%) and LGBT (44%) workers are more likely to aspire to a leadership role than the national average. Thirty-two percent of workers with disabilities aspire to leadership positions, as well as 35% of Hispanics – both near the national average, the survey found.
Why are workers content to avoid climbing the corporate ladder?
A majority (52%) said they are satisfied in their current roles, and a third (34%) don’t want to sacrifice their work life balance. Seventeen percent say they do not have the necessary education.
“While most workers don’t want a top job, it is important for organizational leaders to promote a culture of meritocracy in which all workers, regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation, are able to reach senior-level roles based on their skills and past contributions alone,” Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, said. “The survey found that employees at companies that have initiatives to support aspiring female and minority leaders are far less likely to say a glass ceiling holds individuals back.”
A lack of female and minority executives has long been a criticism of corporate America, but to what extent do workers feel organizations have a glass ceiling?
When looking only at workers who aspire to management and senior management positions, 24% perceived a glass ceiling at their company and that percentage is even higher among females (33%), Hispanics (34%), African Americans (50%) and workers with disabilities (59%).
The perception of a glass ceiling is not as prevalent among LGBT workers aspiring to leadership roles. Twenty-one percent feel there is a barrier to leadership at their organization, slightly less than the national average.
Only 9% of non-diverse males think there is a glass ceiling for women and minorities at their organization.
Some companies choose to address the issue directly. Twenty-seven percent of employers have initiatives to support females pursuing leadership roles and 26% have initiatives to support minorities. Thirteen percent of employees at these companies think there is a glass ceiling, according to CareerBuilder.
The nationwide survey, which was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from May 13 to June 6, included a representative sample of 3,625 full-time workers in government and the private sector across salary levels, industries and company sizes.