Workplace 2030: Do you know what success looks like?

"I can't wait for my daughter to ask me about the old days. 'Did they really have a glass ceiling, Dad?' It will be as unbelievable as the whisky-swilling days of Mad Men."

When Ronald Lee, Goldman Sachs director of wealth management, accepted his award as a male champion of change at the Women of Influence awards, he imagined a world for his daughter where bias was as anachronistic as whiskey, cigarettes and skirt chasing as seen in the well-known TV series, Mad Men. It’s a reminder that what once seemed commonplace has now all but disappeared in many parts of the world. 

Most of us hope our children will have wonderful opportunities to flourish but do they know what success looks like?

According to a survey of Generation K girls age 13-20, although 90% feel it is important to be successful in a high-paying profession, only 35% plan to have children.

As one 15 year-old put it, she realised women can’t have it all - they have to choose between career or children. 

In fact, none of us can have it all.

Women and men have found many ways to manage the tricky balance in ways that seem to work. What we aren’t doing is showing that as a viable path to success. 

Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute, a New York research center that provides data on the work force, said younger workers often don't know that about the executive who once took time off – and how she built her career back.   

"One of our suggestions to companies is: Make the career paths of your successful leaders visible," Galinsky said.

Do you know what the career path of a successful leader looks like in your organisation?

Do your employees? 

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Next in the Workplace 2030 Series: Tales From the Coalface

Part 3 of Workplace 2030: A Parent's Place Is In...

Part 4 of Workplace 2030: What's the ROI of your Life Partner?