ROI-NJ asks: What’s the No. 1 issue facing women in the workplace?

We worked the room at “Unlocking the C-Suite,” a women business leaders forum sponsored by the New Jersey Business & Industry Association recently at the DoubleTree hotel in Somerset.

We asked some of those in attendance: “What’s the No. 1 issue facing women in the workplace?”

Here are just some of their answers:

“As women, we sometimes lack the self-confidence and the ability to self-promote. I think it’s sometimes inherent in who we are as women. We have a difficult time, not so much bragging, but telling our story. It’s easy for us to tell someone’s else story, but it’s harder for us to tell our story.”

Jenifer Morack
Director, Garden State Go Red for Women
American Heart Association

“I’m in a technical business, working with a lot of engineers. So, getting through the barriers that a woman can be a CEO of an IT company. I do tend to run into those obstacles, strictly based on gender.”

Cora Park
Diamond Business Communications

“It’s work-life balance, because it spans over your entire career, from the time you start working to when you have a spouse and when you have children. It’s never something that you can put down. When you go home, you always have another job waiting for you, and that can be hard.”

Kimberly Warrick
Director, client services
NJ Shares

“It’s not just understanding that we should be paid equal to men for the work that we do, but understanding that we bring different skill sets to the table. If we take time off to have children, we’re perceived as not being a team player because we’re putting our family first instead of the company. That should not be reflected in our performance reviews.”

Mary Penny
Communications and special events director
CASA for Children of Mercer and Burlington counties

“It’s a sense of self-worth. When you are at a stage in your career where you are looking to do the next step, women don’t naturally think, ‘I’ve got 30 years in the business and you should be lucky to have me.’ Instead, we think, ‘I wonder who would I network with, I wonder who would talk to me, I wonder where I can go.’ I think women think like that versus, ‘I deserve attention because I have a lot to give you and you would be really lucky to have me.’”

Grace Breen
Between jobs
New Jersey

“It’s the family-work balance. I think you want to spend time with your family, but you still want a career. And you want to make sure you can advance, but you don’t want to give up time with your family. With everything being automated, it helps a little, but the older people are not as accepting of the younger women coming into play.”

Colleen Logan
Marketing and business development
Sobel & Co.