BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

Gen Y Women: Do You Want to be Paid for Results?

Posted by knbarrett on May 18, 2011

I was recently asked, “Why would you want to be paid for results when you could be paid to just show up?” The person had read the new BPW Foundation report Gen Y Women in the Workplace and questioned the assertion that Gen Y women want to be evaluated based on the work they produce not the number of hours they sit at their desk. The question struck me as odd. My initial response was why wouldn’t you want to be paid for outputs over inputs?

The more I mulled it over, though, the more I understood the person’s point. There are days when I would like to show up at an office and be paid regardless of whether or not I actually accomplish anything. More often than not those are the days when my 16 month old daughter is acting like she’s already entered the terrible twos and retreating to a physical office space outside of my home where I’m expected to sit quietly for eight solid hours seems zen-like. There are days when I feel uninspired and I wish I had clients who would just pay me to “be.”

But if I’m honest with myself, my greatest sense of satisfaction comes through achievement – accomplishing a goal. There’s nothing like taking on a new research activity, developing the methodology, conducting the research and then translating the results into a product. Simply showing up at an office doesn’t do anything for me. It’s all about the work itself.

And that’s just it. To understand why Gen Y women want to be evaluated on performance over presence, you have to look at their perspectives on work. If work is simply about picking up a paycheck or putting in time then it makes perfect sense to want to be paid for “showing up.” But if work is something more to you . . . if it’s about making a difference then is really so hard to believe that a timesheet seems a rather ineffectual means of measurement?

How about you, what do you value in the workplace? If you are a Gen Y woman (born 1978-1994), BPW Foundation wants to better understand your perspectives on work and workplace success.

  • What is your view of work?
  • What work values are most important to you?
  • What motivates you to produce results at work?
  • What factors enable you to do your best at work?

Please share your thoughts and experiences by taking our online survey. The survey will remain open until Tuesday, May 31st at midnight. Don’t miss the chance to let your voice be heard!

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