OnlineSchools.com, a digital resource for online education, just put out an analysis of Forbes‘ list of the World’s Most Powerful Women of 2011, called “Wonder Women,” showing 56 of those 100 women holding graduate degrees.
The salaries of these educated women are also going up, according to the analysis: Since 1979, women with college educations have seen a higher increase in average earnings than men.
Perhaps the most striking statistic is that, of the 100 Most Powerful Women, 88 percent have children. Not coincidentally, many work in family-friendly companies — such as Kraft Foods and Morgan Stanley — that provide fully-paid maternity leaves (something all countries but the United States, Swaziland and Papua New Guinea guarantee today).
“Juggling a powerful career and a family can be a lot for anyone to handle,” says Seth Restaino, spokesperson for OnlineSchools. “However, this list … proves that it can be done … .”
But just how motivated women are, in general, to pursue this upper echelon appears to be another matter. I’m in the process of analyzing for our website (HREOnline™.com) a nationwide study recently put out by More magazine showing 43 percent of women surveyed saying they’re less ambitious now than they were a decade ago.
Another eye-opener in that survey: 73 percent say they would not apply for their boss’ job. Two of three women in the poll, conducted by The Polling Company Inc./WomanTrend, say they prefer more free time over more pay and two of five say they’d be willing to accept less pay for more workplace flexibility.
More on that More poll to come. For now, as to the real status of women in corporate America, it appears the jury’s still out on where we really are, and where we’re headed.