82% of women are confident in ability to fulfil career aspirations: PwC

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A woman fills out an application form from a jewelry and gem company during the Gemological Institute Of America (GIA)'s Jewelry Career Fair in New York July 30, 2012. (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT SOCIETY WEALTH) Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

A majority or 82 percent of women are confident in their ability to accomplish career aspirations, while 73 percent are actively seeking career advancement opportunities. Ninety-five percent values the flexibility to balance the demands of career and personal or family life. Meanwhile, getting to the top of their career is important for 75 percent of women.

This is according to PwC’s recent poll, which interviewed more than 3,600 professional women aged 28 to 40 to learn about their career aspirations and experiences to mark Thursday’s International Women’s Day (IWD). The poll included participants from more than 60 countries and across 27 industry sectors.

The report titled “Time to talk: what has to change for women at work” shows that working women are ambitious, confident and ready for what’s next. Nearly all women or 97 percent said that working in a job they enjoy is important to them.

Many respondents, however, said they do not trust what their employers are telling them about promotion and career development. A majority of respondents or 58 percent identified greater transparency as a key step that employers can take to boost opportunities for career development. This means providing staff with a lucid understanding of the expectations on both sides of the equation. These include information about success and career progression as well as open conversations with employees on where they stand.

The report also shows that 48 percent of new moms felt overlooked for special projects and promotions upon returning to work. Some (42 percent) said they feel nervous about the possible impact of starting a family to their career.

Bob Moritz, Global Chairman of PwC, said that women are confident and ambitious and are actively pursuing their career goals. He urged leaders to focus on creating an environment where there is clarity for women as this will benefit everyone and lead to better results.

“This greater transparency is however just one piece of the puzzle, additional actions are needed to drive change,” Moritz said. He added that it has to go hand-in-hand with efforts to mitigate unconscious biases and gender stereotypes.

“It is really encouraging to see that more and more women are speaking up and proactively going after their career goals,” Sharmila Karve, PwC Global Diversity Leader, said, adding that organisations can do a lot to help women progress and acquire leadership roles.