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4 Top Career Obstacles Women face in the workplace.

A new study shows that less than 10 percent of seats in Kenya’s Companies boards are held by women. There are even fewer women in the top echelons of power in companies. Why are there so few women at the top? Here are four such reasons.

1. Lack of an old boys network.
As the saying goes, it’s not what you know but whom you know. Men have extensive networks which they can tap to, while women have to rely on companies’ generosity to advance their careers. Men almost always recommend men in their circle of friends to take up powerful positions in companies, few women do.

2. Balancing family and Work.
In this day and age, it is extremely hard for women to have both family and also excel in their careers. One tends to be successful in one, and fail in the other. Moreso, some husbands implore on their wives to take a
breather once a child comes along, negating their careers. Few companies are also willing to give adequate maternity leave, and make conditions for women to bring children over to the workplace difficult.

3. Differences in leadership Styles.
Men are praised for being assertive and aggressive, whereas if women apply the same qualities, they are derided as being too ‘masculine’. However, if they also bring the genuine women leadership skills to the table, they are chided as being too soft and unable to make hard decisions. So, women are at a loss on which style of leadership to adopt.

4. Lack of Support for each other.
This may be a tad bit controversial, but some say that women are their own worst enemies. Many women prefer male bosses to female ones, further hampering their own career growth, as an opportunity for building a strong career network is curtailed.

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