Sir Stuart Rose, who is due to stand down as head of the retail chain in 2011, told the Observer that women could now enjoy a successful high-powered career at the same time as having a family life.
“Women can get to the top of any single job that they want to in the UK,” he said.
Rose hit out at women who “moan” about inequalities in the workplace, insisting glass ceilings no longer exist.
“Apart from the fact that you’ve got more equality than you ever can deal with, the fact of the matter is that you’ve got real democracy and there are really no glass ceilings, despite the fact that some of you moan about it all the time.
“I mean, what else do you want to do, for God’s sake? Women astronauts. Women miners. Women dentists. Women doctors. Women managing directors. What is it you haven’t got?”
He said having children was not a bar to success for women and there are no reasons why women cannot become chief executives.
“Women have children; I can’t help that” he said. “But I know lots of women who’ve got two or three kids – (fund manager) Nicola Horlick is a good example – there are many girls in here who’ve got two kids who come to work. It can be done.” M&S