This originally appeared on Forbes on October 27, 2023.
McKinsey's 2023 Women in the Workplace Report was recently released and a high-level finding was that women continue to be just as ambitious as men at every level of the career pipeline. It reports that 96% of women say their career is important to them and 81% are interested in being promoted to the next level. This complements findings from a recent study by Berkeley Haas professor Laura Kray and Vanderbilt University's Jessica Kennedy that shatters the outdated myth that women don't ask for more money. The study found that professional women now report negotiating their salaries more often than men.
The clear conclusion is that women lacking ambition at work is a myth. But why do these outdated ideas persist?
Kray's paper outlines several common assumptions when it comes to pay requests, such as men are typically less risk averse, women have lower salary expectations, women compete less and have more humility, and women don't ask as often.