Women still blocked from top jobs and board seats

Female managers still face a glass ceiling when trying to secure senior
positions in the profit generating divisions of businesses.

An International Labour Organisation report released last week shows that
while the gender gap has closed significantly further down the career ladder,
the number of women holding board positions remains at 5 per cent or less.

Female managers are only likely to hold senior positions in sectors that are
not directly involved in profit or loss making activities, which prevents them
from securing seats on the board.

Half of all female managers in the UK are likely to be in HR, claims the
research, which pulled together statistics from 41 countries. Four out of 10
female managers are in actuarial, insurance and pension divisions, with 38 per
cent working in marketing.

Women have the best chance of career progression in the public sector, with
9 per cent reaching the top three management tiers in the Civil Service and 8
per cent becoming chief executives in local government.

The UK has the fifth lowest percentage of female senior managers in the
world, at 3.6 per cent. Australia has the lowest at just over 1 per cent.

Susan Anderson, the CBI’s director of HR, said, "More and more women
are in managerial roles and are making their presence felt in the boardroom.

"Almost a quarter of managers today are women, compared with 8 per cent
10 years ago.

"But business cannot afford to be complacent and more needs to be done
to ensure women have access to the top jobs.

"The most productive way of tackling this is through encouraging the
spread of flexible working practices and improving access to good quality,
affordable childcare."


By Paul Nelson

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