SENIOR WOMEN EXECUTIVES CLIMB STEADILY IN DECADE, PUSH GLASS CEILING TO VERY TOP, STUDY SHOWS
NEW YORK, June 29 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study of more than 400 top female executives (vice presidents and above) at the nation's largest industrial and service companies indicates that women have made great strides in the past decade, moving steadily up the corporate ladder and pushing the "glass ceiling" ever higher. The study, "Decade of the Executive Woman," was conducted by Korn/Ferry International and the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management, and was designed to update a similar 1982 survey which was one of the first to look at the growing population of senior women executives. "Our study shows that senior women executives have made monumental gains in both their professional and personal lives over the past decade," said Richard M. Ferry, Chairman and CEO of Korn/Ferry International. "They are beginning to exercise a range of choices that appeared to be unthinkable just 10 years ago. Careers and families are not mutually exclusive for today's senior women executives who previously were forced to choose one or the other," he added. "While ultimate power still rests in the 'old boys club,' the progression of women is changing corporate culture on a daily basis," reported Dr. Carol Scott, acting Dean of the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA. "However, although most of our respondents are quite satisfied with their own career gains, they almost unanimously agree that the pace of progress for women is too slow." There were more women in 1992 successfully managing high-level careers and families, Dr. Scott noted. "Reading between the lines of our 1982 study results, it seems that the majority of top corporate women had sacrificed family life for their careers. Ten years ago, only 49 percent of women executives were married and 61 percent had no children. Today, seven out of 10 of these women are married and most of them have one or more children," she
added. But juggling work and family has taken its toll. The majority of respondents -- 77 percent -- want to retire before age 65.
In responding to the survey overall, the women executives observed that men currently in power still do not feel comfortable with women as peers and "comfort level" is a major decision factor in selecting executives for most senior jobs. Many women believe it will take another decade to achieve parity in senior jobs, with the majority agreeing that barriers to women have not fallen at the senior management level.
The average senior woman executive in the U.S. today is 44 years old, married with one or two children, but one-third of her peers have postponed starting a family or decided not to have children for the sake of their careers. Although she says she does not have enough time to spend with her family, work gets the nod more often than not when career, family and personal life make conflicting demands on her time. Women filling America's executive ranks have seen their salaries double over the past 10 years to an average of $187,000. They work just as long as their male counterparts -- 56 hours a week -- but take home only two-thirds of the men's income as revealed in a 1989 study of male executives, also by Korn/Ferry International and UCLA. Almost two-thirds of the women surveyed have been sexually harassed, but only 14 percent reported the incident to a supervisor. The vast majority ignores it while 37 percent confronted the harasser privately. Women executives earn more than their husbands, averaging 66 percent of household income, but they have primary responsibility or share household duties and child care with their husbands. Virtually none of the women's spouses are in charge of child care or household tasks. The majority agree that companies should offer on-site child care and flex time to help with family obligations. Making it to the top for a woman takes hard work, the ability to make decisions, a willingness to take risks and a bit of luck, the executives report. The greatest obstacle they had to overcome was "being a woman." Three-fourths of the respondents had a male mentor as a guide, and the majority see themselves as a mentor to both men and women. A background in finance and accounting has been their best ticket to the top, and most expect to be a part of the senior management team by the year 2000. Nine percent of the women serve on their company's board of directors compared to 17 percent of the men in the 1989 study. The Democrats and Republicans are equally represented among the top women in business, but the majority (52 percent) voted for President Clinton because of his economic policies and his view on abortion. Ten years ago, 25 percent of the executive women polled were Democrats; 44 percent considered themselves Republicans. "Decade of the Executive Woman" was completed in the first quarter of 1993. Headquartered in New York and Los Angeles, Korn/Ferry International specializes in management searches at the senior level. The firm maintains 17 offices in major U.S. cities with a total of 47 offices worldwide in key business centers throughout North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia/Pacific. In addition to serving clients' executive recruiting needs, Korn/Ferry International provides related consultation services in executive compensation, organizational consulting and management audit. -0- 6/29/93 /NOTE TO EDITORS: For a copy of the report, contact Michelle Jacobs of Korn/Ferry International, 212-687-1834/ /CONTACT: Stephanie Rosenfelt, 212-687-1834 or Francie Murphy, 310- 458-1224, both of Korn/Ferry International/
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LG-MG -- NYTU010 -- 6705 06/29/93 12:30 EDT
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|Date:||Jun 29, 1993|
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