Lack of women in top roles will continue to limit female career choices

The lack of women in top jobs will continue to hold back female career choices, leading diversity practitioners have warned.

A survey published last week to tie in with International Women’s Day (8 March) found that women still see the need to devote time to bringing up children as a barrier to their career progression.

Twice as many women as men saw their gender as a limiting factor, the study of 201 executives by consultancy Accenture found.

Sam Clark, head of diversity and inclusion at the firm, said: “Women choose careers where they can see other women being successful. They look at established professions such as teaching or caring. There is a perception of ‘fewer opportunities’. Women prefer environments where they feel confident.”

Sarah Churchman, head of diversity at professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, agreed. “Women at the top are making some progress, but there is going to be a limited pipeline from the next generation to follow this up,” she said.

The Accenture report showed more than 50% of women interviewed were likely to find it challenging to balance personal and professional life, compared to just 36% of men.


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