Career

Glass ceiling: Are women responsible?

A poll has revealed most businessmen believe women create their own glass ceiling with almost two thirds saying career opportunities are equal.
Women holding up glass ceiling

A new study by workplace consultant Positive Leaders reveals the “work-life juggle” is considered the biggest barrier to women reaching the tops of their professions, with two-thirds of men and 83 per cent of women agreeing this is so.

However a significant percentage of respondents also blame women’s “lack of ambition”. Nineteen percent of men and 13 per cent of women responded that they believe this is a reason women do not make it to leadership positions.

The Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, has responded to the survey by emphasising there is no evidence to support this perception

“What most women want is to build a strong career while caring for those they love,’’ she said in an interview with The Australian newspaper.

“Perhaps their ambitions do not fit the ideal worker model as well as men’s do.

“It’s that model that needs to change, not the women.’’

Women make up nearly half of Australia’s workforce, but account for just 3.5 per cent of chief executives and 18 per cent of direc­tors in the top 200 companies listed on the stock exchange. More than a third of those companies have no female directors.

Ms Broderick said many firms still favour a “24/7” employee with no other commitments. “The system has been designed with men in mind,’’ she says.

“It’s never worked for women, and, increasingly, it doesn’t work for men who want to be engaged as fathers and support their parents as the population ages.’’

Your say: Do you think “work-life balance” or “lack of ambition” has anything to do with it? Email us on [email protected]

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