Women see the benefits of a switch to interim careers

More women than ever are giving up their nine-to-five jobs to become interim managers, research has revealed.

A study of 850 interims, by provider Boyden Interim Management, showed that the flexibility and equality of pay associated with working as an interim meant more women were choosing a career in the sector.

“Interim management offers flexible working patterns, and we predict that there will be an ever-increasing number of female interim managers,” the research stated.

Younger women in particular are being drawn to becoming interims. The survey revealed that in the 25 to 39 age group, the female percentage was almost five times greater than men of the same age bracket.

Female interims find it easier to find regular assignments, with 30% more women in work for more than 170 days per year than their male counterparts, the survey said.

They also enjoy greater equality of pay than is typically found in the wider workplace, with very little variation in daily rates between the sexes. At the very top end of the pay scale, women actually earn more than men, the research shows. Overall, 5% of women earn more than £1,250 a day, compared with only 3% of men.

Reasons for organisations appointing an interim underwent a shift in 2005. The top two reasons – internal change management and a major new project – scored 28% and 29% each, both up by about 50% from the 2004 survey. HR continues to be one of the most popular functional areas for interim managers, along with general, financial and change management. About half (48%) had assignments operating in a head of function role.

Asked about barriers to success, almost half of the respondents (48%) cited internal politics as their major gripe, followed by the setting of unrealistic goals or timeframes (34%).

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