Here are the top reasons why being a woman makes it harder to achieve career goals, according to Cosmo readers:
My Industry is Still Male Dominated
"There are tonnes of great women in advertising, but it still happens to be a bit of a boy's club. It's not like I'm looked down on because I'm a woman at a senior level in the industry, but there just aren't too many of us around."
—Shriya S., 30, Creative Director
"Being a female bartender is not as cute as it looks in the films— just try and remember how many you've seen around!"
—Shamaila K., 24, Mixologist
Tip from the Top
The people who advise you don't have to look like you. "Find a male sponsor!" says Kiersten Salander, Deputy Chief of Staff to the Chairman at Bloomberg, LP. "Look for someone who you feel comfortable going to for help over and over."
Family Commitments Make it Hard
"I don't have kids right now, so it's fairly easy for me to put in the time and mental energy that my job requires. However, I am definitely a little worried about what will happen when I have a family, and whether my career will suffer because of it."
—Stuti J., 23, Medical intern
"I'm very dedicated to my work, and my idea of a perfect life has never really included children. I would like to have a healthy marriage, but I don't see kids getting in the way of my job."
—Tarini U., 24, Commissioning Editor
Society is biased
"Things are a lot better now than they used to be for women, I'm sure. Regardless, it often becomes a task to prove you can take on as much as a man can. If you're gentler with people, they assume you're soft 'because you're a woman'. If you're tough, people are quick to label you a b*tch, which they might not do if it was a man in question."
—Tamanna P., 28, Financial Analyst
"People at the company I work for have been mostly unbiased, but ever so often I do see people being a little dubious about giving a married woman or a woman with kids responsibilities, because they wonder if she can handle it all."
—Deepika L., 26, Clinical Psychologist
"On the contrary, I work for an all-woman organisation, and we function fantastically— we're not looked at any differently from our male-led counterpart companies."
—Sneha I., 28, Digital Advertising Exec.
Tip from the Top
Women can be saddled with 'office housework' and less glam projects. "If you're picking up balls others have dropped, let them drop, and let someone else fix it," says Lasso Bock, SVP of People Operations at Google. "This may feel worse for women. But if you're working on something that isn't valued, you're wasting your time."