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Women management accountants are more powerful, assertive, optimistic, and self-confident than they were 10 years ago, but negative workplace stereotypes and gender bias are still perceived to obstruct promotion and career advancement, according to a new study of 2,000 female management accountants conducted by Management Accounting, the financial management magazine of the Institute of Management Accountants.

The survey reveals that, overall, women are more optimistic about their career opportunities than a decade ago and salaries have improved. In 1995, 31% of respondents holding managerial positions earned an annual salary of $50,000 or more. In 1986, only 21% of women respondents reported an annual salary of $50,000 or more, after adjustments for inflation.

The number of college undergraduate and MBA degrees increased, as well. In the 1986 survey, 61% held college degrees and 17% held MBAs. Those percentages have grown during the last decade to 68% and 20%.

The study shows the "glass ceiling" is continuing to crack for female management accountants, but frustration with the pace of progress is evident," said Kathy Williams, editor of Management Accounting. "Even as women management accountants recognize inequities in the industry, they remain clearly dedicated to excelling in their roles as financial management professionals."

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