Glass Ceiling Still Exists for Many Female Execs

March 8, 2006 ( - Even after improvements over the last decade, many women in the workplace still gaze upwards to see a ceiling made of glass above them.

A news release from Accenture said that only 30% of women executives and 43% of male executives believe that women have the same opportunities as men do in the workplace – supporting the existence of a glass ceiling.

However, the study also found that overall the women executives were about as personally satisfied with their own career opportunities and positions as men were with theirs. For instance, the same percentage of men and women respondents (58%) said they are fairly compensated or that their salary reflects their personal achievements. In addition, about the same number of women as men (66% and 70%, respectively) said they feel secure in their jobs.

Women executives in theUnited States and the United Kingdom are very confident of their own business capabilities and are more likely to believe that the greatest barriers to their success come, not from their own capabilities or even from their own companies’ cultures, but from society. On the other end of the spectrum, women executives in Canada and the Philippines believe that societal issues are less of a barrier to achieving career success and that corporate cultures are more at fault.

The in-office aspect appears to pose the greatest barrier to advancement inAustria, while Swiss respondents believe the company dimension poses relatively few barriers to their advancement. In Germany and Australia, barriers to advancement are seen as most prevalent at the societal level.

Accenture conducted online surveys of approximately 1,200 senior executives at mid- to large-sized companies ($250 million+) in eight countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, the Philippines, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Approximately half of all respondents were female. Fieldwork was conducted between January and February 2006.