SOURCE: The Innovative Edge

September 18, 2006 14:11 ET

Survey Finds Majority of College-Educated Women Do NOT Aspire to Be CEOs or Manage Others

Hairpin Turns™ Discovers Success Is Defined by Flexibility, Personally Meaningful Work, and Intellectual Challenge

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 18, 2006 -- After years of feeling pressure to pursue the glass ceiling and break through it, a recent survey reveals that most women between the ages of 25-54 have no intention of doing either. Hairpin Turns, a San Francisco-based leadership organization that helps professional women map their careers and successfully navigate the uncertainties of change, discovered that most women's definition of success is much more personal.

In partnership with Zoomerang™, the pioneer in online surveys, Hairpin Turns conducted a survey among college-educated women in eight major metropolitan areas regarding the key factors that determined their professional and personal satisfaction. According to the results, the majority of the 706 respondents said they are not aiming for the CEO ranks, executive management or to start their own businesses. They put much higher premiums on jobs that provide them with flexibility, intellectual challenge and personally meaningful work over title, status or salary.

The survey also revealed that:

--  "Rising up the career ladder" and "being developed for their next
    level of leadership" ranked dead last for every age group except 25-29 year
--  Only 19% of women rated "having direct responsibility for managing,
    but not at the executive level" as important or very important
--  Only 14% rated "owning my own business" as important or very important
--  In rating the reasons for career satisfaction "being in the right
    career," "flexibility," and "doing work that is personally meaningful"
    occupied the top spots for all age groups
--  "Making a six-figure income" ranked no higher than ninth of 10 factors
    in career satisfaction
--  Currently 60 percent say they are NOT in careers that provide them
    with flexibility, personal meaning, challenging work or passion about what
    they do
--  Surprisingly, only one in ten women has a plan to help herself achieve
    that satisfaction

"If the most common denominator is that women want to do meaningful work, the second most common denominator is that very few have a plan to get closer to doing it," said Denise Brouillette, creator and founder of Hairpin Turns. "Rather than staying in an unsatisfying job, women need to develop a plan to get them closer to success -- whether that means negotiating for what they need within their current jobs, or striking out to do something else. Having a plan is the best predictor of success."

In two decades of leadership consulting, Brouillette has worked with many capable female executives who could have easily earned higher management positions, but who left their companies out of frustration because their working environment was too rigid. "When companies lose talented female employees, everyone loses," she said. "As long as female employees produce the results companies expect, why not give them a flexible and stimulating environment to work in. You may be surprised at how much they'll accomplish for the company in return."

For a copy of Hairpin Turns' survey results, email:

About Hairpin Turns

Hairpin Turns™ is the women's career division of The Innovative Edge, LLC, a San Francisco leadership development organization that has been helping men and women lead successfully for over 15 years. The Hairpin Turns' leadership experiences help women map their futures and successfully navigate the uncertainties of change. Women decide where they are headed in "The Next Mile"; bring an already defined vision to reality in "The Road Ahead"; benefit from the expertise of a leadership coach in "Riding Solo"; and become a very skillful negotiator in "Navigating the Turns." For more information, visit

About Zoomerang and MarketTools

MarketTools is the defining provider of on-demand market research. MarketTools gives companies and individuals the ability to continuously understand their target customers through research approaches based on advanced technology, research expertise, and global market reach.

MarketTools offers a full range of research applications and services that scale with customer requirements -- from answering a highly targeted question to investigating broad and complex market opportunities. All MarketTools services, from leading web solutions that allow customers to design and deploy their own surveys to customized research studies, are supported by sophisticated research methodologies and advanced analysis tools. MarketTools directly manages an online panel community of over 2.5 million individuals worldwide. Through Zoomerang™, the pioneer in online surveys, MarketTools provides the leading self-service platform and services for fast feedback.

MarketTools provides organizations ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies, small and medium-sized businesses with unique access to their target markets to uncover unmet needs, reduce time to market for new products and capture market share. Learn more at and

Contact Information

  • Hairpin Turns Media Contact:
    Rebekah Mitchell
    Email Contact