Women dominate the HR profession in all EU countries, according to the
latest Cranet data.
Organisations in the UK and Finland have the highest proportion of females
in the HR department compared to other EU member states.
Senior HR management roles are filled by women in 43 per cent of UK
organisations. While this number may seem quite low, it is higher than the EU
average (28 per cent) and higher than that of any other EU country.
While UK organisations have the highest majority of women in their HR
departments, there is an obvious North-`South divide in the EU. In northern
countries there are far higher levels of women in HR departments (an average of
74 per cent) compared to countries further south, which average 49 per cent.
In the UK, an equal number of males and females in HR is seen in 6 per cent
of organisations (the EU average is 11 per cent) and in only 8 per cent the men
are in the majority (the EU average is 15 per cent).
The reason for this could be the high administrative content associated with
the HR profession. If commentary about the changing nature of the function
comes to fruition, and administration becomes more devolved within
organisations, we may see a change to this pattern.
In the UK, companies continue to leave primary responsibility with the HR
department in consultation with line management.
Another reason why HR may not attract as many men is that the majority of
most HR positions are for more junior roles. Research carried out by Cranfield
School of Management (Recruitment Confidence Index, Autumn 2000) confirms this,
with data showing that two-thirds of the most recent HR positions in the UK
were at administrative level.