The Big Stretch
Stretch opportunities are all the rage in the workplace, according to a recent report, “Out of the Comfort Zone: How Women and Men Size Up Stretch Assignments—and Why Leaders Should Care,” by Be Leaderly CEO Jo Miller and VP of Consulting and Research Selena Rezvani. The report is based on a survey of 1,549 U.S.-based professionals who completed an online survey between December 2017 and March 2018.
A true stretch opportunity requires someone to move outside their comfort zone, acquire new skills, and potentially create new connections that will help their career. Key findings from the report include:
- Men and women are equally interested in being promoted into director or vice president positions and ultimately advancing into senior vice president or C-suite roles.
- However, the largest portion of women don’t feel their employers make it easy to gauge if they are ready for a promotion, while the largest portion of men think their employers help them know whether they are prepared to advance.
- Women are less engaged in and passionate about their jobs than men, another possible explanation for why fewer women take on stretch opportunities. A strong correlation exists between employees who feel engaged and passionate about their work and those who perceive that their employer makes it easy to assess their readiness to advance.
- In order to apply for a job, both women and men feel they need to meet, on average, 75% of the qualifications for the role.
- Women may hold back from taking stretches because when assessing how ready they are for a new job, they are less likely than men to overestimate or “round up” their skills.
- Both men and women say office politics is the biggest practical challenge to taking a stretch assignment, with lack of time a close second.
- Men are 3.5 times more likely than women to cite pay as an important factor in evaluating the appeal of a new assignment, job, or level. For more information, visit beleaderly.com