Intentionality – redefining a professional’s journey towards Career Achievement

  • Career Intentionality – the extent of intention a professional uses to move ahead in his/her career path.
  • This is an intrinsic attribute that varies across career stages for men and women, but is the HCF (Highest Common Factor) of career success amongst professionals.
  • 48.5% of India’s population is women, 30% of who live in urban areas and are in access of opportunities of urban India
  • 46% of enrolled university graduates in India are women
  • 27% of entry level professionals are women, 15% of mid-level professionals are women, tapering to 5% at senior executive level positions and 1% in boards
  • 48% of Indian women abort their careers mid-way
  • According to WEF’s gender gap reports, it will take another 118 years to bridge the existing gender gap in India
  • AVTAR’S first study on intentionality was done on 2456 Indian professionals of which,

  • 56% were women
  • 44% were men
  • While 28% of the professionals were in their early career stage (age between 21 and 30), 54% were in their mid-career stage (age between 31 and 40) and 18% were in their matured career stages (above the age of 40). All these men and women were identified by their respective employers as being “successful” and this qualified them to participate in the study.
  • It was found that the factors which contributed to the career success of both men and women are IDENTICAL. Both demonstrated the same competencies which lead them to become successful. These competencies were : Networking, Seeking Mentors, Problem Solving, Resilience, Focus, Negotiation, Work-Life Integration and Building Trust & Respect
  • The difference lay in the age at which men and women demonstrated the traits. Women began these traits at a significantly later age, as compared to men.
  • It was found that ‘Career Achievement’ is the single-most important career aspiration for women across career maturity levels. But for men, meeting the financial needs of the family takes center stage starting mid-career levels.
  • This is an indication that women are intrinsically wired for career achievement, majority of women professionals know where they are headed – their goals are set. It also means that the male psyche is primed very early to be the financial provider for the family.

    • It was also found that the ‘Career Aspirational Curve’ for women tilted towards ‘work-life integration’ starting from the mid-career stage, probably because this is when the 3Ms (Marriage, Maternity and Motherhood) impact their lives most in the mid-career stages. For men, professional expertise and career advancement are the primary career aspirations at the early and mid-career levels.

      This indicates that while men and women are equally driven towards building careers and are equally aspirational at the threshold of their careers, their aspirations differ starting at the mid-career stage. It is here that intentionality comes into play. Career Intentionality ensures that aspirations are met at critical career junctures and careers are successfully sustained.

    • How does ‘career intentionality’ manifest itself?
      • Through intentional investment in seeking mentors
      • Through intentional investment in networking
      • Through intentional investment in identifying role models
      • Through intentional investment in seeking non-familial support
      • Through intentional investment in creating support systems that address non-professional commitments (child care, elder care etc.)

    It is in this manifestation of intentionality that a gender gap continues to exist, resulting in skewed gender ratios in corporate India.

    • And the gaps are:
      • Through intentional investment in seeking mentors
        • 12% of men seeking mentor support, only 4% women do so
      • Through intentional investment in networking
        • 28% of men leverage their networks for career advancement, only 14% of women do so
        • Through intentional investment in identifying role models
          • 40% of men have identified role models, only 20% of women have role models
        • Through intentional investment in seeking non-familial support
          • 53% of men invest in non-familial support, only 25% of women do so
        • Through intentional investment in creating support systems that address non-professional commitments (child care, elder care etc.)
          • 80% of men have family support as against 48% of women who enjoy support from family/extended family in career pursuits

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