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NEWS RELEASE: sphinxx survey identifies glass ceiling dilemma

THE GLASS CEILING DILEMMA: 44 PER CENT OF WOMEN BELIEVE THEY HAVE BEEN OVERLOOKED FOR PROMOTION DUE TO THEIR SEX, YET 27 PER CENT HAVE TURNED DOWN A PROMOTION DUE TO LACK OF CONFIDENCE

Survey results released today by sphinxx (sphinxx.com.au), a community dedicated to advancing women as leaders in business, revealed that 44 per cent of women believe they may have been overlooked for promotion due to their sex, but 35 per cent have actually made a conscious decision not to advance their career past a certain point and 27 per cent have turned down a promotion due to lack of confidence in themselves for a senior role.

The sphinxx survey was taken online by 200 working women, two thirds of whom had children.

Jen Dalitz, founder and SheEO of sphinxx, business consultant, farmer and mother, believes while there is definitely evidence that some women are choosing to stay away from the top jobs, there is plenty of discrimination out there and there is a glass ceiling:

“The discrimination is mainly in the form of unconscious biases and stereotypes which favour men as leaders, says Dalitz, and I think this comes out in the survey results: 44 per cent is a huge number to say they believe they’ve been overlooked for a promotion because they are women… much higher than we were expecting”.

This is also reflected in the 74 per cent of respondents who said they supported the use of quotas or targets or both to improve gender diversity on boards and in executive roles.

“Given the number of women on boards and in senior executive roles has declined in recent years (ref 2008 EOWA Census of Women in Leadership), explains Dalitz, women know that this is the only way we’ll see a significant shift.   I think it’s really pertinent that 47per cent of respondents specifically support the use of quotas, because most boards and CEOs don’t support them”.

Women know that the glass ceiling is there.  What was interesting from the sphinxx survey was that while 35 per cent of women said they have made a conscious decision not to further their careers, 65 per cent haven’t done so and 60 per cent say they do want a top level management role, with 88 per cent saying they have made personal sacrifices of various sorts to get ahead in their career.

“We know what while this is a huge number of women saying they do want to get the top jobs, says Dalitz, only two per cent of CEOs and Chairs are women, only eight per cent of directors are women and only 10 per cent of senior executives are women (ref 2008 EOWA Census of Women in Leadership).  So there must be something holding women back.  I’d suggest it’s the ‘more-than-9-out-of-10’ senior executives and board directors who are men”.
“Women are graduating in equal or greater proportion to men across most industries, yet they’re just not making it to the top jobs, concludes Dalitz.  So I think it’s also not only  about competence or the existence of discrimination or a glass ceiling, but often more about women’s confidence to go to the top and their need to acquire practical skills and tips to help them get there and manage that job with their family and other commitments, if indeed that is what they want”.

Click here for full results on the sphinxx survey.

JEN DALITZ
At just 17 years of age, Jen Dalitz left home and the fold of her small town community in rural SA and headed for the big smoke.  With nothing but big ideas and a burning ambition to make something of her life, she began a 15-year career in finance and business consulting that spanned diverse industries, international borders and a host of Fortune 500 companies.
A rainmaker in every sense Jen is a business consultant, farmer, mother and author and founder and SheEO of sphinxx, a community dedicated to advancing women in leadership.
With one foot on her farm and the other in the City, a small child, husband and several Beagles in tow, Jen finds inspiration in all parts of her life and draws many parallels between her lessons from the land and the corporate world! She is also the author of Little Wins for Working Women.
ENDS

MEDIA INFORMATION
For more information about Jen Dalitz, sphinxx or Little Wins for Working Women, contact Sophie Cross at PR Chicks on 0421 996810 or email sophie@prchicks.com.au

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