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Healing

2015年01月14日

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  The real reason why more women don’t rise to the top of companies

  职场金字塔,女性为何越来越难以登顶?

  IN “BORGEN”, a Danish television drama, the country’s first female prime minister returns home late each night to domestic bliss. Her stay-at-home husband stacks the dishes and massages her back. The children cheer her televised speeches. But before long her son is seeing a shrink, the neglected hubby is having an affair and our heroine is throwing furniture around her office.

  在丹麦电视剧《权利的堡垒》中【1】,国家的首位女总理每天很晚才能到家享受天伦之乐。她的家庭煮夫会收拾好了碗碟贴心唤她回家,她的孩子们为她在电视里的精彩演讲而欢呼。但好景不长,不久后她的儿子便被带去看心理医生了,她那被冷落的丈夫也有了外遇,而我们的女英雄只能悲愤得在办公室里摔家具。

  Rarely has there been so much angst about women reaching the top. In the Atlantic magazine last month, Anne-Marie Slaughter, the first female director of policy planning at America’s State Department, declared that women cannot successfully combine a super-demanding job with bringing up young children. (She quit Washington, DC, to return to academia.) This month a British member of Parliament, Louise Mensch, resigned, saying it was too hard to juggle job and family. Yet the news is not all grim. In July Yahoo!, a struggling internet firm, picked a 37-year-old from Google, Marissa Mayer, who is expecting a baby in October, as its new boss.

  处于事业巅峰的女性有这么多的痛苦困扰也不多见。在上个月的《大西洋月刊》里,美国国务院政策规划司首位女司长Anne-Marie Slaughter(她已经退出华盛顿政坛回归到学术界)表示女性不可能同时扮演合格的母亲和成功职业女性的角色。而本月辞职的英国国会下议院女议员Louise Mensch也说要平衡好家庭和工作的关系困难到几乎不可能。当然现实也不都那么残酷。今年6月,在困境中奋斗挣扎的Yahoo迎来了它的新老板-来自Google的37岁的Marissa Mayer,而她是一位即将在今年10月迎接她孩子出生的准妈妈。

  America’s biggest companies hire women to fill just over half of entry-level professional jobs. But those women fail to advance proportionally: they occupy only 28% of senior managerial posts, 14% of seats on executive committees and just 3% of chief-executive roles, according to McKinsey &Company, a consultancy. The figures are worse still at big European firms, which is perhaps why the governments of Belgium, France, Italy and Norway have set quotas for women on boards. The European Commission is threatening to impose such rules across the EU. It would be better if women could rise naturally to senior executive roles rather than being forced on to boards. But how can this be done when everything tried so far seems to have failed?

  在初级专业性岗位上,美国的大型企业愿意一半以上雇佣女性。但之后,这个比例开始逐渐失衡:麦肯锡管理咨询公司的研究表明,女性的比例在高级管理岗位上只有28%,在最高执行委员会里只占了14%,至于首席执行官的职位上,女性只有3%的席位。这个比例在欧洲公司里更糟糕,这或许是为什么比利时、法国、意大利和挪威政府要强制规定公司岗位的女职员比例,欧盟委员会正在欧盟国中硬性实施此类规定。当然,女性要能自然晋升到公司高管职位当然比强行采用这种政策性保护措施更好,但当其他所有方法都无济于事的时候不这样还能怎么办呢?

  Several factors hold women back at work. Too few study science, engineering, computing or maths. Too few push hard for promotion. Some old-fashioned sexism persists,even in hip, liberal industries. But the biggest obstacle (at least in most rich countries) is children. However organised you are, it is hard to combine family responsibilities with the ultra-long working hours and the “anytime, anywhere” culture of senior corporate jobs. A McKinsey study in 2010 found that both women and men agreed: it is tough for women to climb the corporate ladder with teeth clamped around their ankles. Another McKinsey study in 2007 revealed that 54% of the senior women executives surveyed were childless compared with 29% of the men (and a third were single, nearly double the proportion of partnerless men).

  女性的职业发展道路上荆棘塞途。学习自然科学、工程学、计算机或者数学相关的女性寥若晨星,晋升机会也微乎其微。一些陈腐的男权主义论坚称即使在开明自由的行业里情况也是如此。但其实她们发展最大的障碍还是来自于是孩子(至少在一些富裕国家)。高管的职位往往工作强度大并且随时随地可能需要处理公务,因此无论你多么善于管理,要把它和家庭责任同时兼顾好简直难于上青天。在2010年麦肯锡的一份研究中指出,男性女性都认同:有孩子负担【2】的女性在职业发展阶梯上步履维艰。而在另一份麦肯锡2007年的报告显示,54%的女性企业高管都是没有小孩的,而这在男性中只有29%(这其中有1/3女性依然是单身,同比是男性的2倍)。

  Many talented, highly educated women respond by moving into less demanding fields where the hours are more flexible, such as human resources or public relations. Some go part-time or drop out of the workforce entirely. Relatively few stay in the most hard-driving jobs, such as strategy, finance, sales and operations, that provide the best path to the top.

  很多受过高等教育才华横溢的女性接受了调岗到压力小一些工作时间更加弹性的职位上,例如做人力资源或者公共关系。有一些只做兼职工作甚至索性不工作了。而只有寥寥无几的女性还继续呆在工作艰辛却最有可能晋升到公司最高管理层的职位上,例如做公司战略、财务、销售、运营等相关工作。

  Consider this example. Schumpeter sat down with a mergers-and-acquisitions lawyer who says that, before starting a family, she was prepared to “give blood” to meet deadlines. After the anklebiters appeared, she took a job in corporate strategy at an engineering firm in Paris. She found it infuriating. Her male colleagues wasted time during the day—taking long lunches, gossiping over caf au lait—but stayed late every evening. She packed her work into fewer hours, but because she did not put in enough “face time” the firm felt she lacked commitment. She soon quit. Companies that furrow their brows wondering how to stop talented women leaving should pay heed.

  参考这样一个案例吧:我曾经对话过一个从事公司并购案的律师,她说她会在建立家庭之前为这份辛苦的工作浴血奋战到最后一刻。而当有了孩子之后,她在巴黎的一家工程公司找了一份战略策划的工作。结果这份工作让她很不爽,她发现她的男同事们把大量的时间不是花在吃中饭上就是在咖啡间里聊八卦,他们整天无所事事却还在办公室故意呆到很晚才下班。而她虽然更高效的完成了工作,却因为在办公室的考勤时间不够长而被认为没有敬业精神。于是她很快离职了。这个案例值得那些为如何留住女性人才而发愁的公司反思。

  Could corporate culture change? In their book “Future Work”, Alison Maitland and Peter Thomson describe how some firms give staff more flexibility. Not just women, but men and generation Y recruits, say the authors, are pushing for a saner working culture. Unilever, a consumer-goods firm, wants 55% of its senior managers to be women by 2015. To that end, it allows employees to work anywhere and for as few hours as they like, so long as they get the job done. Despite being one of the world’s most global firms, it discourages travel. McKinsey lets both female and male consultants work for as little as three days a week for proportionally less pay—and still have a shot at making partner. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s high-profile chief operating officer, says that she has left the office at 5.30pm ever since she started a family in 2005.

  可以通过改变公司文化来改善这种现象吗?在Alison Maitland 和Peter Thomson合著的新书《未来的工作》中,他们阐述了公司应该如何给员工更多的弹性空间。作者认为,不仅是女性员工,男性员工以及新入职场的80,90后也都渴望健全合理的公司文化。快消公司联合利华希望到2015年他们的女性高管比例能达到55%。为了实现这个计划,他们允许员工只要能完成工作任务,在哪里办公,办公多久都不受限制。作为一家最全球化的公司之一,联合利华却并不鼓励出差。而麦肯锡公司让自己的咨询顾问们虽然赚的少一些但每周只工作三天,也依然培养出合伙人。Facebook公司的首席运营官Sheryl Sandberg说从她2005年成家后,她每天下午5点半就下班了。

  Such examples are rare. For most big jobs, there is no avoiding mad hours and lots of travel. Customers do not care about your daughter’s flute recital. Putting women in the C-suite is important for firms, but not as important as making profits; for without profits a company will die. So bosses should try hard to accommodate their employees’ family responsibilities, but only in ways that do not harm the bottom line. Laurence Monnery of Egon Zehnder International, an executive-search firm, reckons that companies should stop penalising people who at some point in their careers have gone part-time.

  但是这样的例子毕竟凤毛麟角。在大多数的重要岗位上,超长的工作时间和商务出差都在所难免。客户才不管你女儿是不是要办长笛演奏会了。对于企业来说,培养女性的最高管理层【3】固然重要,但重要性还比不上给公司创造利润,没有了后者会致公司于死地。因此老板们只有在不损害公司利益底线的前提下努力帮助员工承担好他们的家庭责任。亿康先达国际人力资源咨询公司的Laurence Monnery认为企业不应该再处分那些在有时去做兼职的员工。


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