Powering the Possible in Career Pathways – Part II

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Earlier this month, I traveled to Bangalore for an exciting discussion about issues surrounding women in business. Partnering with the Catalyst Research Center for Career Pathways, we sponsored leading researchers and academics from around the world, identifying future paths of study, with a goal of developing real, fact-based solutions to break barriers holding women back.

Last year, Dell made a $1 million, multi-year commitment to Catalyst, a leading nonprofit membership group expanding opportunities for women and business, to help create this center. It seeks to support new, larger research panels and data sets in regions around the world — tracking an array of previously unstudied trends and demographics about women’s careers.

Catalyst researchers Alix Pollack and Anna Beninger give further detail about Catalyst’s mission, and this event in particular:

The Catalyst Research Center for Career Pathways is committed to exposing root causes of gender gaps in organizations. The Center’s research sorts myth from fact, identifies the true problems that hold women and other underrepresented groups back from advancement, and provides a solid basis for more effective talent development.

Three weeks ago, Catalyst’s Research Center for Career Pathways convened a group of academics, business practitioners and policy makers from a range of disciplines, industries and nations — including Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, the Netherlands, South Africa and the United States — for an inaugural symposium: “Career Paths in Emerging and Mature Markets—Global Trends, Gender Gaps, and Game Changers.” The symposium was designed to identify cutting-edge paths of inquiry for future study that will allow businesses, media, governments, and individuals to gauge women’s progress and develop action plans to advance women into leadership.

In addition to discussing the challenges women face in emerging markets and opening up new avenues of research, policy, and practice in these areas, the participants shared compelling stories about global obstacles to women’s advancement, as well as those specific to women in emerging markets. These stories imbued the conversations with a sense of depth and personal connection, and lent context and color to the entire event.

In their original Catalyzing blog post, Stories from the Field: Global Challenges for Women,” sharing reflections and powerful stories from this landmark event, Pollack and Beninger ask you to imagine living under circumstances that exemplify the barriers women face in emerging markets and across the globe:

Imagine living in a place where you are not identified by your own name alone, but in relation to a man: you are not simply you; you are known formally as the “wife of” or “daughter of” someone else.

Imagine being a successful businesswoman but unable to speak of your success in public for fear of drawing attention to yourself and your family as potential targets of violence and crime.

Imagine being intelligent, talented, and ambitious, but unable to realize your full potential because your husband, mother-in-law, professors, or government do not support your career.

These are just a few of the challenges women in a number of emerging markets around the world face in their workplaces and wider communities.

Read the full piece here and join the conversation.

About the Author: Lisa Mink

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