Women in Finance Still Bumping into Glass Ceiling

June 20, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - More than a third of female finance executives say they've bumped into the glass ceiling during their careers.

Four in 10 of those responding to a CFO magazine poll said their career progression has been limited, while just over a third (34%) say they’ve been denied a promotion or a raise within five years – at least in part because of their gender.

Female respondents pointed to three reasons why they think they are not reaching top positions:

  • the close nature of the CEO/CFO relationship, (33%)
  • the male-oriented culture of finance, (28%)
  • the long hours involved, (25%).

“In finance, diversity is still a goal, not a reality,” says Julia Homer, editor-in-chief of CFO magazine, in a release. “Whether women face subtle discrimination, or choose to take themselves out of the running few are making it to the top echelons of finance.”

But the survey also found that women in finance are slightly more likely than their male counterparts (60% versus 56%) to negotiate for salaries or benefits beyond an initial offer with a new employer.

In April, CFO surveyed 363 financial executives on their views about gender and finance careers. Other survey highlights include:

  • 38% of men say they think women are at a disadvantage in the finance. But 66% of women think they have a disadvantage.
  • 68% of women say that flexible hours are an important factor when choosing a job. Only 40% of men do.
  • 31% of women would prefer to work for a man compared with 28% of men.
  • 16% of women aspire to be a CEO compared to 24% of men.