Working women set sights on £50,000: Four out of ten target salary… and will use any means to get there

This article originally appeared in the Daily Mail, January 28 2014

It is often claimed that women get a raw deal in the workplace, but that does not make them any less ambitious, a survey has found.

A poll of 1,000 working women by Grazia magazine found that 85 per cent regard themselves as ‘ambitious’, with four out of ten aiming to earn more than £50,000 a year.

Almost a fifth were targeting a salary of £100,000, the study found.

Whilst 69 per cent of those polled said they viewed their work colleagues as ‘friends’, 67 per cent said they ‘would climb over them to be promoted/get to the top’.

Some of those polled would go to extreme lengths – more than one in 10 women polled claimed they have ‘spied on a colleague’, either by sifting through private emails, or going through their desk drawers and 10 per cent admitted to ‘taking all the credit for a colleague’s work’.

It is not only colleagues that some career women are deceiving, but their bosses as well – 43 per cent say that they have ‘lied to their boss to avoid getting into trouble’.

A quarter of those polled felt ‘stressed’ by their work and 18 per cent felt trapped – whilst only six out of 10 women ‘felt optimistic’ about their role in the workplace.

Only five per cent of those polled were content with their current career level.

More than half the women polled claimed they would rather have the career of Victoria Beckham than their own. This was nearly five times as many as runner-up Nigella Lawson, whose career was only desirable to 11 per cent of those polled.

Nearly half of young mothers said that they would not sacrifice their salary to achieve a better work-life balance.

But 42 per cent said they ‘now earn more than their partner’.

Jane Bruton, editor of Grazia said, ‘Work is more important than ever to women and ambition is no longer a dirty word.

‘Generation ambition are showing a new ruthless streak at work which is probably a response to the combination of rising living costs and living through an economic slump – they simply can’t afford not to make it to the top.’

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