The glass ceiling has come to epitomize the collective forces at corporations that prevent women from rising to the C-suite in numbers on par with men. Treasury & Risk‘s annual survey on women in finance again reveals that most women responding (83%) say the glass ceiling exists, while most men say it doesn’t (71%). Invisible barriers or not, the gender gap is real. Women held about 14% of executive positions at companies in 2010, barely inching forward in the last couple of years. In light of the financial crisis, that might be seen as progress. Not losing heart through this long journey, the outstanding women in finance featured in this issue show that perseverance, hard work and delivering results do count. Look for profiles of some of these women in our T&RExpress newsletter for more inspiration.