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Women want to achieve career success earlier than men with a third wanting to reach their ideal salary by 35, according to a survey.
The survey of 2,000 workers by recruitment specialist REED shows that whilst achieving career success is equally important to both men and women (51%), the survey shows what they perceive as indicators of success, and the age they want to achieve them, reveals some stark contrasts.
Almost half of women want to have reached career success before the age of 40, compared to 39% of men. And a third of women hope to earn their ideal salary by the age of 35, compared to a quarter of men.
Yet when it comes to salary expectations, women go for a lower figure than men, considering achieving career success comes with a salary of £54k, compared to £58k for men.
The survey also shows that men are more likely to seek leadership positions. The areas that more men than women associate with career success are being their own boss (4 percentage points higher than for women), being on the board of their company (4 percentage points higher), having a say in their company’s strategy (2 percentage points higher) and owning their own company (2 percentage points higher).
The research found that although the majority of workers (68%) do see a healthy salary as a sign of career success, other indicators of career success have changed. A desire for a good work-life balance is favoured by 75% of workers, for instance, and being able to work flexibly is a sign of success to over a third of workers – 42% of women and 31% of men.
Despite the rise in open-plan offices and hot-desking, getting your own office is still on the list for almost half of UK workers (49%), with 35% wanting a designated parking space. Technology is playing an ever-growing role as a mark of success, with a laptop (45%), iPad (32%) and iPhone (32%) the gadgets workers expect to receive by the age of 34 if they are going to make it to the top.
Both men and women agree that 35 days of paid holiday would be a sign of success. Over half of women (51%) believe that owning a house by the age of 35 is a sign of career success, compared to just 43% of men.
Tom Lovell, managing director at REED, says: “Achieving ‘career success’ is deemed important to 51% of workers overall, yet what is most interesting from this research is what they define as indicators of that success and when they wish to achieve it.
“With addressing the gender pay gap and the glass ceiling high on the political agenda, it’s particularly interesting that women want to hit key milestones earlier on in their career. Flexibility is also key for them – seemingly more so than men – with 42% of women deeming a sign of career success, compared to just 31% of men.
“Interestingly, three quarters of people (76%) don’t think they’ve yet achieved career success, with the average worker saying career success is eight years away. More than half (54%) believe they are not yet on the right path to achieve success.”