Trend: The Ambition Gap

Ambitious: the word means “showing a strong desire and determination to succeed.” Sound like you?

When we polled Little PINK Book readers, 84 percent of them said yes.

But it doesn’t seem to translate to career advancement, since we know the number of women in top leadership positions is stalled.

Some, like Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, attribute this lack of progression to the ambition gap.

“It’s in our DNA – in history, women were the gatherers and men were the hunters,” says Susan Steinbrecher, a business consultant and author of Kensho: A Modern Awakening.

Steinbrecher’s tips for closing the gap? “Women often think their work should stand for itself,” she explains. “But you have to become your own self-advocate. “

Showcase your work for maximum visibility in a professional way, she continues. “Take credit when acknowledged. [There’s] no time to be the shrinking violet.”

Next time, instead of feeling slighted when Ted or Bill gets the next promotion, “get curious about it,” Steinbrecher says. “Study these situations – every organization has a political environment.”

Count Me In‘s Nell Merlino says women are ambitious – just not ambitious enough. The answer, she says, lies not in getting to the top of big companies, but creating our own.

“Ambition and strategic thinking shouldn’t be considered male vs. female attributes,” Steinbrecher adds. “Aspirations are important – no matter who you are.”

Bonus PINK Link: Are you indispensable at work? Find out with tips from our online exclusive.

and tell us a story of how ambition has helped your career!

By Caroline Cox

“Until women are as ambitious as men, they’re not going to achieve as
much as men.” Sheryl Sandberg

Share this Article