Quotes: “Many women are just as ambitious as men when they begin their careers, but become so wearied by fighting against multiple structural and experiential barriers to their success that this ambition often wanes.

This is one of the findings made by Michelle Ryan, a professor of social and organisational psychology at the University of Exeter in the UK, in her research into why women are under-represented in leadership roles and report lower ambition.”

“… men and women have absolutely equal levels of ambition and want to make it to top in equal numbers.

“But while men’s ambition increases over time, women’s decreases. My research suggests that this drop is not associated with wanting to have kids, or to stay home and look after them. It’s related to not having support, mentors or role models to make it to the top, and the subtle biases against women that lead to their choices.”

“She advised ambitious women to find a sponsor in the workplace who supported their career. Often this was a senior man, because there were not enough women in senior roles. Senior men with daughters of an age where they were entering the workforce tended to be more supportive of women’s careers, she said.

“The other bit of advice is to be resilient in the face of the uphill battle, to be aware of the unconscious biases and the lack of support, and not internalise it by saying ‘it’s because I’m not good enough’,” Ryan said.”

Guardian: Women start out as ambitious as men but it erodes over time

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