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In this report, Catalyst and Families and Work Institute partner to continue the Leaders in a Global Economy series by investigating the experiences of pipeline and senior leaders in European cultures. The report focuses on European cultures because, while few women hold senior leadership positions in companies in Europe today, their numbers in the pipeline suggest a potentially different reality in the future.

The study reveals that:

  • Nearly one-half of leaders were at risk of leaving their employer within the next five years, with pipeline talent highly uncertain about staying.
  • Leaders encountered significant barriers to career advancement. While both women and men leaders experienced these barriers, they posed a more significant challenge for women—particularly pipeline women and women in Latin Europe.
  • These barriers led to a greater likelihood that leaders intended to leave their company, and some led to more negative views among leaders of their job, their company, and their commitment to doing a good job.

However, the report also finds that barriers to career advancement can be reduced significantly through the use of powerful talent management practices. Specifically, several barriers to workplace advancement were reduced when leader:

  • Received constructive feedback.
  • Perceived organizational fairness.
  • Were provided line of sight.
  • Received support from their supervisors.

Importantly, when companies effectively addressed career advancement barriers, leaders had higher levels of engagement.

Sponsors: BP p.l.c.; Citigroup Inc.; Henkel; Hewlett-Packard Company; IBM Corporation; Johnson & Johnson; JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Total S.A.; Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Additional Participants: Fluor Corporation and Infosys