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Poll shows that maternity can improve leadership skills

Many women still think that babies can be an obstacle to their careers. Others believe the exact contrary.

Poll shows that maternity can improve leadership skills

Nathania Zevi

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by Nathania Zevi

Most of lady managers are deeply convinced that bringing up a child can improve one's leadership skills. Nevertheless, 50 per cent of working women still consider maternity an obstacle  to their career.

On one thing they all agree. Bringing up a child is an experience which should be inserted in every woman's resume. Especially in a country like Italy. where the welfare state is almost totally based on family.

In fact maternity and growing up a child provide a woman with particular skills that may turn out to be extremely useful also in the professional field.

However, many lady managers consider being a mother a double-edged weapon.

This is the result of an opinion poll carried out, at international level, on a panel of lady managers by Korn/Ferry, a company specialized in executive research and talent management. 95% of the interviewees think that bringing up a child provided them with unique talent like being able to motivate and inspire others, more quickness and more self confidence.

OBSTACLE TO CAREER. Despite 6 women out of 10 consider technology has had a positive impact on family-work balance, 45% of companies lady managers are convinced that being mothers has been " quite" an obstacle to their chances of career growth. 8% think that maternity has limited their career"considerably". 19% of women have postponed having a baby and 10% have renounced  because of their job.

" Furthermore from the survey comes out that, in everyday life, it is difficult to eradicate the opinions regarding this issue", Barbara Valaperti, Korn/Ferry senior consultant says - the women of our panel are equally divided on the question whether ther is still a " crystal ceiling" limiting their professional growth".

With regard to this issue , 27% of the interviewees answered yes ; 23% answered no, 50% are uncertain.

" One thing is for sure" Barbara Valaperti concludes "everywhere in the world, there  are still in companies, 15% less women as managers than men, as well as there is a pay gap at all levels of leadership, even at top positions. On the same level women earn 25% less than their male colleagues".

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