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How to Identify Equal Career Advancement Opportunities on the Job Search

You entered into a medical sales role with high hopes for your career. Maybe you dream of being a manager or perhaps your goals reach as far as the executive level. No matter the breadth of your career goals or how often they change, you’re not alone. 

In fact, for the first time ever, career growth opportunities ranked No. 1 as the most important factor for job seekers, according to the 2019 Jobvite Jobseeker Nation report. Of course, some company leaders approach career growth opportunities differently. And both male and female reps face barriers of inequality. 

That’s why 28.9% of salespeople in our The State of the Sales Industry Boys Club in 2019 report stated they would consider leaving their current company for better pay, career advancement, and recognition. 

The biggest hurdle in leaving, however, is identifying a company with opportunities that are equal for all employees. This requires the ability to see past employer branding efforts and discover behind-the-scenes realities before you take the next leap in your career

Here’s how you can discover if a company has equal career advancement opportunities: 

1. Dig into the company’s history

Every company is founded with a mission and purpose for both customers and employees. Internally, these values detail the foundational beliefs of how employees should be treated. Whether or not a company actually follows through on them, however, is the fact you want to uncover. 

For example, Johnson & Johnson’s credo states:

“We are responsible to our employees who work with us throughout the world. We must provide an inclusive work environment where each person must be considered as an individual. There must be equal opportunity for employment, development and advancement for those qualified. We must provide highly capable leaders and their actions must be just and ethical.”

In an era where equality is increasingly important, it could appear this credo is a form of marketing to attract employees. But it was actually crafted by Robert Wood Johnson, a member of the founding family, in 1943. 

To this day, the company has established various programs focused on equal career advancement opportunities. The latest is a program helping all people in STEM careers return to work after extended absences. 

As you research companies, compare their mission statement and purpose to company initiatives. If they’re focused on developing employees and internal advancement, what have they done over the years to make that happen? 

2. Learn about past and present leaders

Leadership teams are comprised of the people who have already advanced at a company. They’re proof — or disproof — of a company’s implementation of equal career advancement opportunities. 

A company that focuses on equality will have leaders representing all genders. If they don’t currently, research a few years back to consider the fluctuation of employment. Someone may have recently left, leaving one gender in the majority of leadership roles. 

It’s also important to consider the qualifications and previous work experiences of company past and present leaders. Search LinkedIn, read articles with direct quotes, and look to employee review sites to understand their beliefs regarding the workplace and equal opportunities. 

3. Research current plans for equality

Some companies understand equality in the workplace is important for their success and for their ability to obtain employees. As a result, they’re sharing their plans for equality, especially career advancement opportunities, online. 

Over the past decade, programs to empower female employees and assist in their career growth have developed for some medical sales companies. Others proudly share set-in-stone goals, such as leadership being a 50/50 gender split in a few short years. 

It’s important to recognize that not all gender equality movements will work best for you. Look for opportunities that align with your goals based on your viewpoints, career growth direction, and gender as you narrow down the search.