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女性在男权世界获取权力的新方式

2014-05-30    来源:财富网    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

在法律、会计和广告等传统上男性掌权的领域,女性很少能够从退休的男性高级合伙人手中继承大客户,但她们擅长为公司引入新客户。

Call it the New Girls' Network. At professional services firms in fields like law, accounting, and advertising, the partners who control the biggest share of revenues wield the most influence. For those on their way up, getting there has traditionally meant working closely with senior partners on key client accounts, with the aim of taking them over when the partner retires.
姑且把它称为“新女生网络”(New Girls' Network)吧。在法律、会计和广告等领域的专业服务公司,掌控最大份额收入的合伙人通常影响力最强。对于一心追求进步的专业人士来说,抵达职业高峰的传统途径是,与高级合伙人紧密合作,一起经营关键客户,目的是熬到高级合伙人退休后顺利接管这些资源。

For women, that happens less often. So female fast-trackers have found a different strategy: rainmaking, or tapping their networks outside the firm to recruit new clients -- many of whom are women, too.
对于女性来说,这种情况很少发生。不过,雄心勃勃的女性职员已经发现了一条全新的晋升策略:造雨(rainmaking),即利用她们在公司外的网络招募新客户——其中许多客户也是女性。

That's the finding of a new study co-authored by Forrest Briscoe, who teaches management and sociology at Penn State's Smeal College of Business, and published in the current issue of the Journal of Professions and Organization. Firms that want more diversity at the senior partner level, the study says, can increase revenues at the same time by encouraging even more of the rainmaking that many female junior partners already do.
这是一项研究报告的最新发现,发表在本期《行业和组织》(Journal of Professions and Organization) 杂志上。其执笔人之一是宾夕法尼亚州立大学(Penn State)史密尔商学院(Smeal College of Business)管理学和社会学教授佛利斯特•布里斯科。报告指出,鼓励女性初级合伙人培养更多的客户,可以增强高级合伙人层级的多样性,同时还能够为公司带来更多的收入。

The researchers analyzed detailed data from inside a major corporate law firm from 1993 to 2007. They found that both the inheritance and the rainmaking paths to senior partnership are risky. Hoping to inherit clients from a higher-up usually takes years of work on those accounts, with no guarantee of a payoff if the senior partner then decides to pass the baton to someone else.
研究人员详细分析了一家大型律师事务所1993年至2007年的内部数据。他们发现,在通往高级合伙人的道路上,继承客户资源和培养新客户都是险招。要想从一位上司手中继承客户资源,往往需要花费数年来经营这些客户,而且不一定能够获得回报,因为这位高级合伙人可能会将接力棒传递给别人。

Rainmaking is even riskier, the study says, in part because it takes just as much time and effort but isn't billable unless and until a new client signs on. So a junior partner who invests in building and cultivating a strong outside network "will risk appearing less productive and profitable" in the short run.
培养新客户的风险更大,部分原因是它需要耗费同样多的时间和精力,但这些付出是不计费的,除非一位新客户愿意签约。所以说,如果一位初级合伙人竭尽全力构造和培育一个强大的外部网络,他(她)“在短期内的工作效率和盈利能力很可能面临下降风险。”

Even so, for women, rainmaking is often the only option, for reasons that are familiar by now. Most senior partners, and their clients, are still white males who, left to their own devices, usually take other white males under their wing and groom them as successors.
即便如此,出于众所周知的理由,培养新客户往往是女性唯一的选择。大多数高级合伙人和他们的客户依然是白人男性。如果让这些人自主行事,他们往往会庇护其他白人男性,并将其培养成自己的接班人。

"It's not a conscious decision based on discrimination," Briscoe says. Rather, he says, it's a question of what sociologists call homophily, or "a matter of people's 'comfort zones,' where we tend to gravitate toward people who are more like us, or who remind us of our younger selves."
“这并非一种故意歧视女性的决定,”布里斯科说。相反,这是一个被社会学家称为同质性的问题,“事关人们的‘舒适区’(comfort zone)”,他说。这种理论认为,我们往往会被更像自己的人吸引,或是让你想起年轻时的自己的人。

Luckily for women, homophily's effects operate outside their firms as well as inside. "There are many more women now who are in-house counsel at big companies, or who are in other roles where they're choosing professional services firms for their companies," Briscoe notes, and that often works in female rainmakers' favor.
幸运的是,对于女性来说,同质性效应不单出现在公司内部,公司外部也一样。布里斯科指出,“现在有越来越多的女性担任大公司的内部顾问,或者为公司选择专业服务机构之责的其他角色。”这种情况通常对致力于培养新客户的女性有利。

For firms that want to shake things up and change, for example, how clients get passed down through the ranks, Briscoe has two suggestions. First, he says, "big partnerships don't always look at how clients are inherited. So taking a close look at exactly how those decisions are made would be a good first step."
布里斯科给那些试图革新(比如,改变客户资源沿公司等级阶梯的分配方式)的公司提供了两个建议。首先,他说,“大型合伙制公司并非总是关注客户资源如何被继承。所以,仔细观察公司如何做出这些决定,将是一个良好的开端。”

Second, he says, firms might want to support the rainmaking path to senior partnership by allowing more time for networking outside the office. That may well mean recognizing that fewer billable hours now can mean higher revenues, and more women senior partners, down the road.
第二,他说,公司可能会允许初级合伙人花费更多时间建立外部网络,以支持培养新客户这条通向高级合伙人的路径。这可能意味着承认,现在更少的计费时间意味着未来能够获得更高的收入,更多的女性高级合伙人。(财富中文网)



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