Putting family first holds back career women

More than 90 per cent of women believe the difficulty of
juggling work and family is the biggest barrier to career advancement.

This is one of the key findings in a survey by Opportunity Now, studying the
obstacles women must overcome to secure promotion below management level.

More than half of the 1,000 women surveyed for Sticky Floors and Cement
Ceilings think they have to put their career before their family to win
promotion in their organisation.

The study finds that communication is also a problem, with employers failing
to explain flexible working policies and programmes effectively. Just under
half of those questioned do not know if their company offers flexible working,
despite benchmarking proof that 78 per cent of firms do.

Half the respondents have had only one day of training in the past year,
while 68 per cent have not received any personal development advice. Thea
Mills, HR development manager at Transco, commented: "HR needs to put
strong, proactive policies and training in place to help develop women."

Judith Cherry, research manager for Opportunity Now, said the findings show
most employers need to do more to develop and promote women. "This
research is a clear call for organisations to change," she said.

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