Monthly Archives: August 2011

Liz Bolshaw

First, the good news. The Chartered Management Institute’s yearly salary survey published on Wednesday shows that junior female executives in the UK are earning as much as their male counterparts for the first time in the survey’s 38-year history.

Now, the bad news. Looking at the overall picture of 34,158 executives surveyed (including directors), men continue to be paid almost a third more than women doing the same jobs – and the gap is slightly wider than last year.

Rebecca Knight

A decade ago, the University of Michigan published a landmark study that examined why fewer women attended schools of business than schools of medicine or law.

The research became a veritable call to arms in the business school community and helped launch the Forté Foundation, a US consortium of companies and business schools that aims to address this imbalance and its effect on the corporate world.

Liz Bolshaw

In my previous blog post I quoted from the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission’s recent report bemoaning the lack of women in leading positions, including in politics.

It motivated me to research just how many of today’s presidents and national leaders were female.

The list, I am reasonably sure, is 20-strong. Mary McAleese, who has served as president of Ireland since November 1997, is the veteran in terms of tenure, while half the list have been in their posts for less than 18 months. The latest addition is Yingluck Shinawatra – younger sister of deposed Thai leader Thaksin Shinawatra – who was appointed as prime minister of Thailand not even a month ago.

The list (ordered by date of appointment):

  • President Mary McAleese (Ireland)
  • President Tarja Halonen (Finland)
  • Chancellor Angela Merkel (Germany)
  • President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (Liberia)
  • President Pratibha Patil (India)
  • President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (Argentina)
  • Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed (Bangladesh)
  • Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurdardóttir (Iceland)
  • Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor (Croatia)
  • President Dalia Grybauskaite (Lithuania)
  • President Roza Otunbayeva (Kyrgyzstan)
  • President Laura Chinchilla (Costa Rica)
  • Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (Trinidad and Tobago)
  • Prime Minister Julia Gillard (Australia)
  • Prime Minister Iveta Radicová (Slovakia)
  • President Dilma Rousseff (Brazil)
  • President Micheline Calmy-Rey (Switzerland)
  • Prime Minister Rosario Fernández (Peru)
  • President Atifete Jahjaga (Kosovo)
  • Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra (Thailand)

With presidential elections coming up next year in both the US and France, what are the chances of the two poster girls of the right – Marine Le Pen of France’s Front National, and Michele Bachmann, queen of the Tea Party – joining this list?


Liz Bolshaw

When the UK government announced its austerity measures, critics warned that they would affect women disproportionately. The latest unemployment figures, released last week, show that those fears may well be justified, as the number of women out of work has reached 1.05m – the highest level in 23 years. In the past three months, more women than men have been made redundant.

Rebecca Knight

The most effective way for companies to ensure their most talented women do not go unnoticed for promotions and plum assignments is through sponsorship, according to a new report by Catalyst, the US non-profit diversity group. 

Rebecca Knight

There is a bundle of academic research showing that women tend to be more risk averse than men. In business, this plays out in a number of ways. 

Liz Bolshaw

Executive coaching companies are keen publishers of their insights, and my bookshelf of titles on women at the top includes a good few. Usually I do not blog about them, and believe me, you should be grateful.

But last week I came across a book that should be read by any aspiring career woman (or man). Break Your Own Rules: How to Change the Patterns of Thinking that Block Women’s Paths to Power, by Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath and Mary Davis Holt, distils the experience of the authors’ decades of coaching experience and their careers at senior levels of large companies.

Andrew Hill

A new report from Britain’s Equality and Human Rights Commission – Sex and Power 2011 – contains a headline-grabbing factoid:

If women were to achieve equal representation among Britain’s 26,000 top positions of power, the Commission estimates that 5,400 ‘missing’ women would rise through the ranks to positions of real influence.

Liz Bolshaw

We have not been alone in humming and hawing about the continuing disparity between the numbers of men and women undertaking MBAs internationally, but one of the world’s most highly regarded business schools has now placed a number on its aspirations to see more women succeed.

Rebecca Knight

The US Department of Commerce has released new data on the gender gap in science and technology and its economic impact on women.

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About our bloggers

Liz Bolshaw

Liz Bolshaw is a business journalist and editor. She has been a successful book publisher, online editor, magazine editor and publisher.

She was launch editor of the Europe-wide online community Entrepreneur Country, has published magazines for PwC, 3i, dunhill and Bafta, and launched The Sharp Edge, a magazine for and about entrepreneurs, with Duncan Bannatyne. She is a regular contributor to Thomson Reuters’ Venture Capital Journal.

Her last project for the Financial Times was as editor of the paper’s Business Education magazine.

Rebecca Knight

Rebecca Knight is a freelance journalist based in Boston. She writes regularly for the FT on business education, entrepreneurship, and management.

Andrew Hill

Andrew Hill is an associate editor and the management editor of the FT. He was City editor of the FT and editor of the daily Lombard column on British business and finance from September 2006 to December 2010.

He was the FT’s financial editor from June 2005 to September 2006, with overall responsibility for coverage of companies and markets. Before becoming financial editor, he was the FT’s comment & analysis editor, in charge of the paper’s opinion and features pages.

From 1999 to 2003, he was the FT’s New York bureau chief. He joined the FT in 1988 and has also worked as foreign news editor, UK companies reporter and correspondent in Brussels and Milan.

Pino Bethencourt

Pino Bethencourt is a professor and leadership expert at IE Business School in Madrid. She is also an author and executive coach.

Lynda Gratton

Lynda Gratton is professor of management practice at London Business School.

Linda Tarr-Whelan

Linda Tarr-Whelan, former ambassador to the UN commission on the status of women, is a Demos distinguished senior fellow.