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March 12, 2001
More Women Working - Just Not at the Top
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eport released to mark International Women's Day March 8 says women now make up about 40 percent of the global work force, but hold no more than 3 percent of top executive jobs worldwide.

The report, released by the International Labor Organization, says that despite growing numbers of working women, breaking through the proverbial "glass ceiling" continues to be impossible for most. The study released last week is an 18-page summary of a book that will be published later this year.

"While women have captured an ever-increasing share of the labor market, improvements in the quality of women's jobs have not kept pace," the report says. "This is reflected in the smaller representation of women in management positions, particularly in the private sector, and their virtual absence from the most senior jobs."

"Women are still concentrated in the most precarious forms of work throughout the world and breaking through the 'glass ceiling' still appears elusive for all but a select few," the study reports. "Some progress has been made in the United States recently with women in 1999 obtaining 5.1 per cent of executive management positions in the 500 largest companies compared to 2.4 percent in 1996.

"For women who also experience race discrimination, the barrier to top jobs seems to be made of unbreakable Plexiglass."

Click here to read the summary (PDF).

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