New Accenture research reports that more than 89 percent of female professionals around the globe and a similar number of male respondents believe building their “career capital” – those differentiated skills that define and advance their careers – is key to success in the workplace. The research, based on a survey of 4,100 male and female professionals in 32 countries, also found that professionals welcome change and are confident of their ability to succeed in the workplace.
Eighty-four percent of both women and men surveyed say they are working to increase their career capital in an effort to enjoy greater opportunities for growth, have the ability to influence decisions at work, increase their credibility among colleagues and peers and reach their goals (cited by 57 percent, 56 percent, 53 percent and 51 percent, respectively). Two out of three (67 percent) believe knowledge or competency in a particular area contributes the most to career capital.
The vast majority of professionals surveyed (91 percent) agree that the most successful employees will be those who can adapt to the changing workplace, and nearly as many (89 percent) report that they thrive on or don’t mind change. At the same time, three out of four respondents (75 percent) say they are equipped to succeed in the future.
“The focus on developing career capital helps engage and energize employees who will maintain a competitive advantage as they grow and reach their goals,” said Adrian Lajtha, Accenture's chief leadership officer. “In this rapidly evolving business environment, leading companies will continue to sharpen and develop their peoples’ skills through innovative training and leadership development programs that prepare them for the future.”
Respondents made a number of predictions about women in the workforce, including:
- Women on boards: Nearly three-quarters of respondents (71 percent) think the number of women on boards will increase by 2020
- Women at the top: Seven in 10 (70 percent) say the number of women CEOs will increase by 2020; 15 percent believe the increase will be significant.
- Women in senior management: Nearly half (44 percent) say their companies are preparing more women for senior management roles than they did last year
“This noteworthy optimism about the progression of women in the workplace is significant for both employers and employees,” said Nellie Borrero, Managing Director, Global Inclusion & Diversity at Accenture. “Attracting, advancing and retaining women depends on providing an environment and culture that develops leaders, empowers women and enables them to thrive.”