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Dan Martin

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Women may not be able to ‘have it all’, warns female chief exec

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The head of a network that seeks to boost the number of women in senior corporate positions has warned that females need to accept that ‘having it all’ may be unachievable.

Heather Jackson, chief executive of An Inspirational Journey, said that, as female graduates enter the workplace, they quickly realise that their career expectations are too high and unrealistic. The result is that they become disappointed and disillusioned and female talent is lost because they exit the work environment in an emotionally drained state.
 
“What we are currently seeing is female graduates arriving in the workplace and being blindfolded to what ‘having it all’ will actually entail to achieve,” Jackson said. “They assume that as they’ve seen role models being portrayed in the media as having the successful career, with the wonderful husband and kids, that they can easily have that too.”
 
What these graduates failed to realise, however, is that the above idealised picture wasn’t “an easy reality”. Many women, in order to get to the top of the corporate ladder in the UK and succeed in their career, had had to “make choices and sacrifices and decide early on what the term ‘having it all’ means to them”, she added.
 
But the problem was that female graduates were not being adequately prepared for the reality that they faced on their journey to the boardroom, even though such preparation was crucial.
 
“When you run a marathon you prepare, get advice and tips and train to get yourself in the right mindset. You can’t run a marathon without preparation and a woman’s journey to the boardroom is similar – preparation, a clear goal and plan on how to reach and achieve it, coupled with the right mindset is essential,” she said.
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Dan Martin

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