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Self-doubt hinders career advancement for women, survey says

May 31, 2013|By Shan Li
  • Self-doubt is a major stumbling block in female career advancement, a survey found. Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook Inc., has helped spark the conversation anew about women and the workplace with her book "Lean In."
Self-doubt is a major stumbling block in female career advancement, a survey… (Peter Foley / Bloomberg )

Women and the workplace are especially hot topics of late. A new survey concludes that self-doubt is a huge stumbling block in female career advancement.

In the last year, only 25% of women asked for a raise, according to joint report from Citi and LinkedIn. And only 38% of those surveyed said they could see themselves rising to a leadership position with their current employer.

That hesitation to command more responsibility and pay comes at a time when women increasingly find themselves the primary earners at home. In 40% of households with a child under age 18 a mother is the primary or sole breadwinner, according to the Pew Research Center. That percentage has quadrupled since 1960.

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The topic of women and careers has always held a place in the public conversation, but a few high-powered female executives have sparked the debate anew about pay, careers and work-life balance.

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg is making the rounds with her book "Lean In," offering career advice to women in an unequal professional world. Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer found herself at the center of a debate on gender politics, first with her ban on working from home and then with an extension on paid maternity and paternity leave.

The new survey has found that among those women who doubted their rise to leadership levels, 41% say there are few opportunities for promotion, 30% do not want to sacrifice family or personal time and 20% didn't plan on staying with their company for the long haul.

Now for the good news. Of the women who did ask for a raise, 75% got one. And nearly half received as much or even more than they expected.


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Follow Shan Li on Twitter @ShanLi

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