There is an interesting article (opinion piece) in the NY Times by freelance writer Hannah Seligson, Preoccupation – Girl Power at School but not in the Office that is key readying for women, girl, or parent who have noticed that while they (or their daughter) had an excellent academic career, seem to be having a little trouble getting ahead in the work world. Ms. Seligson brings up the point that today’s girls, brought up in the post feminist generation found little discrimination in the classroom. Simply by doing well (doing their homework, reading, answering the question correctly), they were given the grades they deserved. Perfectionism in school assignments is rewarded with As. However the prescription for success in academia has not always translated into success in the work world. And that’s not just because it’s still a boy’s club out there. In fact ms. Seligson says that lot of the problems can be traced back to women themselves. Perfectionism is not valued that highly in the work world -in fact, just good enough, just fast enough is the best method. In college asking for a better grade typically gets you no where. In the work world, your employers will seldom give you a raise because you deserve. You have to ask for it, something anathema to many girls, but a given to their male counterparts.
Good for Ms. Seligson for understanding that the work world is different from school and that while the glass ceiling still exists, at least at the lower level, there is a lot more control a young woman can have over her career by understanding the system – ask for a raise, develop a network, ditching perfectionism for the feedback and learning to toot your own horn.