Power at Work Is Still Elusive, Say Women. (Workforce/Employment)

Marketing to Women: Addressing Women and Women's Sensibilities, July 2003 | Go to article overview

Power at Work Is Still Elusive, Say Women. (Workforce/Employment)


Professional women still believe that men hold most of the power in their workplaces, according to a Deloitte & Touche poll of Seattle-area businesswomen. A third (33%) of women surveyed feel they have very little power in their current jobs, and only 18% feel they have a great deal of power. Nearly half (49%) say they have some power. Women age 40 or older (29%) are far more likely than women under 40 (7%) to feel they have a great deal of power. Over four in 10 women under 40 (43%) say they have very little power.

Those who don't have much power acknowledge that some of this comes from a lack of seniority in their jobs. Among women who say they have some or very little power in their current jobs, 46% blame it on being too junior in their position. More than half (57%) attribute their lack of power to not having a voice in important decisionmaking processes. One in three, however, believe it's because of their gender, age, or race--women over 40 (44%) are more likely than younger women (29%) to cite these factors.

Four in 10 women (42%) believe that men have a great deal more power than women do in their workplace, and another 28% think men have a bit more power than women (see chart). Respondents cite three primary reasons why men have more power in their workplaces: (1) men are already established in powerful positions (71%), (2) their workplace has a male-dominated culture (60%), and (3) men are not expected to juggle work and family (54%).

Even if they were offered a position as CEO, 58% of women say they wouldn't take the job; 19% would accept it. About four in 10 (39%) of those who would turn down a CEO position say they'd do so because they aren't qualified to be CEO. …

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