Is the glass ceiling for women shattering?

More government contractors are being run by women than ever before. Is this a real change in the market?

On Tuesday, I went down to meet a friend at the Association of the U.S. Army conference that is held each year.

I joked with her that we were at the convention for middle-aged white guys, or MAWGs. She laughed, but my joke kicked off a more serious discussion.

The world of defense and government contracting is going through a serious gender shift. My friend thinks the glass ceiling has shattered in government contracting, and that this industry is further ahead of other industries, as far as leadership opportunities for women go.

Is that true?

We do have some great leaders that are women, and the numbers are growing.

I always start with the three Lindas: Linda Hudson, CEO of BAE Systems Inc., Linda Gooden, executive vice president of Lockheed Martin, and Linda Mills, soon to be the de facto chief operating officer of Northrop Grumman Corp.

Come Jan. 1, the CEO of General Dynamics will be a woman, Phebe Novakovic. Also at the start of the year, Marillyn Hewson will become the COO of Lockheed Martin.

Hewlett-Packard Co. federal services business is run by Marilyn Crouther. And, of course, the greater HP is led by Meg Whitman.

BAE’s intelligence and security business – 7,000 employees strong – has DeEtte Gray at the helm as president. She just joined in July.

Amazon Web Services global public sector is run by Teresa Carlson, who earlier ran Microsoft’s federal business.

Same with IBM Corp. where Anne Altman is the general manager of IBM global Public Sector.

CGI Federal is led by Donna Ryan, who replaced George Schindler, who was promoted to replace Donna Morea, who was a long time leader at CGI and American Management Systems.

Diana Gowen is the general manager of CenturyLink's government business.

Verizon Business has Susan Zeleniak running its public sector.

I’m sure I’m missing others, so send me some more names. And there are also many women entrepreneurs in the market. I know I’m short changing them a bit here, but that's because I want to focus on the women in the corporate world, because of the old boys’ network so many of these women faced.

With so many women running large businesses, are we seeing a culture shift? Has the glass ceiling really shattered, or has it just been pushed up a little higher? Is the market less of a boys’ club?

Let me know what you think.