75% of women in 20s and 30s say career is top concern or very important, research shows

A survey has revealed the high levels of commitment women in their 20s and 30s feel to their careers.

Some 75% said their job was either the top concern in their world or extremely important, the Marie Claire @work research found. The dedication of these "female careerists" is such that 30% said they had delayed having a baby to further their job prospects.

The researchers said the recent economic downturn could be a motivating factor, as they found many of the women asked spoke of working over five hours overtime per week and often head to the office on Saturdays and Sundays.

Editor-in-chief Trish Halpin said the ambition uncovered by the study was "remarkable". She said that paying off student debt, achieving success before becoming a mother, and saving to buy a house all acted to motivate working women.

It found 40% of the women asked think they want more success in their employment than their partner.

A third of them think having a partner with similar levels of career ambition is vital. They said they would end a relationship or think hard about doing so if the other person was not as focused on work.

The research, conducted with business group Everywoman and involving more than 1,000 people, also looked at how women managed their online lives in relation to work.

Twitter or Facebook accounts were an issue for many respondents, with 62% of them changing information so they did not damage their work image. In order to stay connected and get on at work, 25% of women are following their managers' tweets though.

Some people will not connect with colleagues via Facebook, with 25% saying they reject all such requests and 80% saying they were not comfortable with all friend requests from workmates. Others said they control what work associates can see via privacy settings.

The dedication shown by women in the workplace could come to broader attention if Government plans to vary public sector pay by region come into force. GMB union research found women will suffer most as two-thirds of people with jobs in the sector are female.

Copyright Press Association 2012