Women’s careers restricted by rigid work hours

Inflexible
employers are stopping women from furthering their careers, according to a
survey.

More
than 100 Birmingham-based female managers polled say companies fail to do
enough to help women work flexibly and achieve a good work-life balance.

The
survey, by training firm Harris Associates, criticises firms for not having a
positive attitude towards attracting and retaining female staff and encouraging
their skills development.

The
respondents report that more flexibility in hours and working practices is
needed, along with company-funded childcare and after-school facilities.

The
report concludes that the workplace is full of hidden and indirect
discrimination towards women. Respondents claim that employers see working
mothers as cheap labour, and do not give women as much training as their male
counterparts.

"Many
companies pay lip-service to the welfare of their female staff and few have an
active work-life balance policy and a strategy to drive forward change,"
said Ellen Morley, head of organisational development at Harris Associates.

"The
reality is that firms which ignore the importance of helping females achieve a
better balance are likely to have a highly stressed female workforce, who are
less productive and motivated."

By Paul Nelson

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