Career capital provides a basis for leadership, as employees develop the knowledge and expertise that allows them to take advantage of growth opportunities, influence others, and participate in more in-depth strategic decision-making—as I explained in my previous post. But it’s important to understand how employees view career capital before embarking on any efforts to escalate its development.

Accenture’s 2014 Career Capital survey provides some interesting insights firms can leverage to help shape initiatives that promote the development of career capital among their employee base, and women in particular. For instance, 72% of all survey respondents (men and women combined) report job experience is more important than education in terms of developing expertise. Additionally, the majority of respondents think the most important qualities they bring to their organisations are (in this order):

  • Efficiency in completing tasks
  • A strong work ethic
  • The ability to learn new things

While both men and women agree these qualities represent the top three contributions they make to the workplace, women’s responses tend to be somewhat stronger than men in the areas of efficiency in completing tasks (59% versus 53%) and their ability to learn new things (46% compared to 42%).

Similarly, while men’s and women’s responses run parallel in terms of what they are doing to increase their career capital—expanding personal and professional networks, pursuing opportunities for advancement, and getting additional training—women focus slightly more strongly than do men on looking for advancement and training opportunities. While men and women equally agree that the greatest contribution to career capital is their expertise, women also invest slightly more importance in marketing themselves within their organisations, yet fall slightly behind men in terms of networking. These are interesting distinctions firms should pay attention to when thinking about how to increase career capital.

Insights into both the similarities and subtle differences between how men and women view career capital can be very useful as organisations work to develop both formal and informal avenues for enhancing employees’ career capital building efforts. I’ll talk more about this in my next post.

To learn more about building career capital, please see:

Career Capital: 2014 Global Research Results (Accenture)

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