More than 89 percent of female professionals around the world think building their “career capital”—the differentiated skills that define and advance their careers—is key to success in the workplace, according to a study by Accenture as part of its 2014 commemoration of International Women’s Day on March 8.

Accenture’s “Career Capital” research study included an online survey of 4,100 male and female business executives — from medium to large organizations across 32 countries — including 83 from the insurance industry, which was done in November 2013. The study was conducted to gain insight into behaviors and attitudes regarding women’s careers and what it takes to succeed in the workplace, according to the firm.

Eighty-four percent of both women and men say they are working to increase their career capital. About two thirds of the respondents think knowledge or competency in a particular area contributes most to career capital. For respondents, career capital means having opportunities for growth (57 percent), influencing decisions at work (56 percent), having credibility with peers (53 percent) and reaching goals (51 percent).

A huge majority of the professionals surveyed (91 percent) agree that the most successful employees will be those who can adapt to the changing workplace. Nearly 90 percent say they thrive on or don’t mind change, and 75 percent say they are equipped to succeed in the future.

Nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of all survey respondents think the number of women on boards will increase by 2020, and 70 percent think the number of women CEOs will increase by 2020—with 15 percent of these expecting the increase to be significant. Nearly half of respondents (44 percent) say their companies are preparing more women for senior management roles than in the past year.

Also see Breaking Barriers: The Time is now for Women in Insurance

More than half (57 percent) of all respondents have asked for or negotiated a pay raise, and about three out of four who have done so have received one.

Slightly less than half (44 percent) have asked for a promotion, and more than two-thirds who asked have received one.

More than four out of 10 working parents would prefer to work rather than stay at home, even if finances were not an issue; and nearly three out of four survey respondents say experience is more important than education in their current jobs.

The top three contributions respondents think they bring to their jobs are efficiency in completing tasks, a strong work ethic and the ability to learn new things. The most marketable skills in 2020 are thought to be the ability to multi-task, speak more than one language, be a team player and navigate most computer applications.

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