Kenexa Career Development Model-Individual Behaviors
Part 1 of this post, Women’s Career Development Model – Individual Action in Career Planning and the Contest and Sponsorship Pathways to Advancement – Part 1 of 2, highlighted Ines Wichart’s model of women’s career development with three levels and 11 components, based on her research as Kenexa High Performance Institute (KHPI), a subsidiary of IBM.
She outlined four behaviors that individuals can control or influence toward career advancement:
- Career planning
- Opportunity-seeking, Negotiation
- Career-building networking; Mentoring-Sponsorship
- Skillful self-promotion
The first segment of this two-part post considered facets of Career Planning and two independent paths to career advancement: Contest and Sponsorship routes.
Let’s consider the additional elements that respond to individual attention and efforts, including Opportunity-seeking while embracing risk.
Highly effective career advancement opportunities include stretch assignments and on-the-job training.
Susan Vinnicombe and Val Singh of Cranfield University report that these development activities are most effective in building credibility, visibility, reputation as a capable, well-rounded leader.
However, their research found that women need more encouragement to take on challenging assignments than men, who are more likely to ask for these assignments.
Similarly, Linda Babcock reported that women tend to need encouragement to ask for promotions and salary increases.
Her research demonstrated that women are less likely to negotiate for their first salaries, unless they know that these are acceptable practices.
As a countermeasure, Babcock recommends negotiation practices demonstrated to mitigate negative perceptions by both men and women negotiation partners
Like Babcock, Mary Wade’s research at Manhattan College found that both men and women evaluated more negatively women who negotiated for salary using the same script as men.
Corinne Moss-Racusin and Laurie Rudman replicated this disconcerting finding at Rutgers University, leading to their formulation of “The Backlash Avoidance Model” (BAM)”.
According to this construct, women may demonstrate traditional gender role behaviors to mitigate “backlash” of negative reaction by men and women to “role discrepant” behaviors like asking for career advancement and commensurate compensation.
- What approaches have been effective when you have asked for a salary increase or promotion?
-How did you prepare?
-How did you overcome objections?
- When people ask you for a salary increase or promotion, what negotiation approaches have been most effective?
-What have been least effective?
Wichart’s model of individual initiatives toward career advancement points to the importance of skillful professional networking, mentoring, and sponsorship.
National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) reported that nearly half of technical women surveyed said they lack role models and mentors, and 84% said they lack sponsors.
The result is that these women are four times more likely to leave the current job role.
One reason that women’s professional networking efforts and seeking mentors may yield less effective career advancement than men: Women tend to engage in professional networking for affiliation and emotional support with people close to their job level whereas men tend to network for career development with people significantly above the job level, according to Adelina Broadbridge of University of Stirling.
As a result of these differing approaches to professional networking, men may enjoy more rapid career advancement due to visibility and sponsorship.
F. Randy Blass
In addition, women are likely to demonstrate less political understanding and insight because mentors are not sufficiently senior, according to Florida State University’s F. Randy Blass, Pamela Perrewe, and Gerald Ferris with Robyn Brouer of SUNY Buffalo.
Organizational support for formal and informal mentoring has been shown to increase employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention.
Therefore, organizations concerned with retaining talented women and minorities can increase the likelihood of keeping skilled employees by initiating structured mentoring programs and encouraging selective sponsorship.
- How have mentors and sponsors enabled your career moves?
- How do you decide who you are willing to mentor or sponsor?
Previous posts have shared much current research and leading recommendations in building personal brand and practicing skillful self-promotion:
In light of the potential negative perceptions of women who showcase their accomplishments as they ask for salary increases and role advancement:
- How do you raise awareness of your accomplishments’ impact to avoid “backlash”?
- How do you define, develop, and communicate, “skillfully promote” your personal brand?
These research findings suggest three parting suggestions for women who want to Play Bigger:
- Question the thought that “I’m not ready yet.”
- Develop resilience and “a thick skin”: If you are doing something innovative or important, you may draw both praise and criticism when you are noticed.
- Filter advice: Implement recommendations that have “the ring of truth” and “resonate”;
leave the rest.
- What is the most helpful career advice you implemented?
- What career advice have you decided not to implement?