Australian women still face significant career barriers in the workplace, a survey of 400 professional women between the ages of 18 and 65 has revealed.
The What Women Want @ Work study commissioned by LinkedIn and conductd by Cross-Tab found that nearly half (49%) of professional women identified pay inequality as a major challenge as well as a lack of a career path (52%) and the lack of investment in professional development (43%). Worryingly, the glass ceiling (25%) and sexism in the workplace (19%) continue weight heavily on women’s minds.
Interestingly, the majority of Australian women (65%) define professional success as having the right balance between work and personal life. This is a dramatic change to what women defined success as a decade ago, when only 35% of women defined success as such.
Over the same period, the importance placed on salary when defining professional accomplishments decreased from 64% to 43%, while ‘having an interesting job’ came out as a key measurement for success at 62%.
Overall, women in Australia feel confident about their careers and upbeat about their ability to have a fulfilling work and family life. A massive 82 per cent of the 400 Australian respondents consider their careers ‘successful’, while 70% of those with children believe they can ‘have it all’. On the issue of how children will affect career ambitions, however, women are split. The study found 48% of those currently without children believe they will not slow down their careers, while the remaining 52% feel they will.
The majority (58%) of working women would like greater flexibility within the workplace. A flexible work environment emerged as the most important factor in determining the ‘success of the next generation of professional women’ according to 84% of respondents. Flexibility was deemed more important than having a ‘greater representation of women at senior levels’ (68%).