Executive Position Where Women Are Most Appealing

Every once in a while a little light shines through that glass ceiling and makes you feel we're actually progressing toward equal pay for equal work. There's now at least one executive position that women have a better chance of obtaining than men, and it has nothing to do with gender-specific products. A recent study shows that women are actually favored over men as "interim managers," which refers to high-level executives who are brought on board for short term assignments.

The study, conducted by Impact Executives, a leading provider of interim managers, in partnership with Cubiks, found that female managers are one-third (33 percent) more likely to get an interim gig than their male counterparts.

It's true that the vast majority of interim managers right now are male -- 80 percent, in fact. But with hiring weighted toward females these days, that could change soon. The study suggested that women are bringing new skills and approaches that make them especially appealing for these types of assignments.

"Although interim management is a male-dominated industry, this study shows it is also an industry that is well suited to women," said Christine de Largy, managing director of Impact Executives.

De Largy says the research showed that "interim managers require a very different skill-set from permanently employed executives; they need to hit the ground running, have excellent emotional intelligence to connect quickly with their client, and deliver results fast. Quite often we find that women candidates are extremely well qualified to engage with everyone around the organization and deliver the requirements of the assignment."

Knowing that, women with management skills and experience might want to consider looking for short-term gigs, rather than focusing only on full-time positions.

The advantages include:

  • Not having to commit long term to a company you're not sure about
  • The ability to get your foot in the door of a business with an inside track for a full-time position if you really like it
  • Plenty of diversity and variety -- new challenges every few months will keep you from getting bored.
  • The ability to rest in between assignments -- you can schedule breaks at your own discretion
  • Opportunities to check out different fields and companies, and round out your experience
  • Meeting plenty of new contacts and expanding your circle in ways you could never imagine working at the same company for years

Sure, there are drawbacks: like a lack of health insurance and retirement benefits, uncertainty, and the tax complications resulting from being an independent contractor. But for the freer spirits among us, temporary assignments could be the way to go -- and a way to transition into something more permanent. Women are welcome here.

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