Business culture has become so dominated by men that women now have to be
more ‘male than men’ to get the top jobs in the boardroom, a study has claimed.
A woman’s ability to perform well at work can also take second place to her knowledge
of the offside rule in football, because management-speak is so littered with
Research conducted in the North East of England found that women are still
discriminated against because of their age or appearance, and are often categorised
into groups such as the ‘nappy brigade’ or ‘sexy chicks’.
Dr Sharon Mavin, the associate dean of Northumbria University’s Business
School, said her report found the male culture so deeply embedded that some
women had now become part of the problem.
She said a culture of female misogyny had led to a situation where
"even women encourage other women to ‘know their place’ in an organisation
when they are perceived to be challenging the established gender order".
She explained the way in which chief executives use football metaphors to
motivate their teams, and that firms are increasingly using corporate boxes at
football clubs for networking.
"The problem is that if this is where they are politicking and
decisions are being made, then women are being excluded," Mavin said.
The latest official figures from the Office For National Statistics (ONS)
show there are now a record 13 million women in the UK workforce.
The number of female employees has risen by 54,000 in the past three months,
and by 150,000 the past year.
By Ross Wigham