Purpose – This paper aims to document women’s reflections on their careers over a ten-year period
to provide quantitative baseline data on which to frame follow-up in-depth interviews. The
participants work in the public service in Queensland (Australia) and had been recommended for, and
participated in, women in management (WIM) courses conducted in the early 1990s.
Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected by means of a survey (containing closed and
open items) which gathered demographic data and data related to employment history, perceptions of
success and satisfaction, and the women’s future career expectations.
Findings – Findings revealed that the percentage of women in middle and senior management had
increased over the ten-year period, although not to the extent one might have anticipated, given that
the women had been targeted as high flyers by their supervisors. While not content with their
classification levels (i.e. seniority), the majority of the cohort viewed their careers as being successful.
Practical implications – Questions arise from this study as to why women are still "not getting to
the top". There are also policy implications for the public service concerning women’s possible
"reinventive contribution" and training implications associated with women only courses.
Originality/value – The study is part of an Australian longitudinal study on the careers of women
who attended a prestigious women-only management course in the early 1990s in Queensland. This is
now becoming a study of older women.
Careers, Women, Australia, Public sector organizations,Women executives