Most days this blog is about women at the top of their careers − chief executives, other C-suiters and the challenges they faced as they climbed up the corporate ladder. Today, however, I would like to focus on an extraordinary organisation that helps women at the bottom of the ladder.
Earlier this week, the Royal Navy announced that Lieutenant Commander Sarah West would take command of HMS Portland, a type-32 frigate, in April next year. She will be the first woman in the service’s 500-year history to command a British warship.
The gradual − some would say belated − infiltration by women of the upper ranks of military forces is beginning to accelerate.
Laura Yecies’ CV lists degrees from Harvard, Georgetown and Dartmouth. She has run divisions at companies such as Yahoo and Netscape, and she is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish and French. But, she says, proving she was worthy of a chief executive seat in Silicon Valley was no easy task.
The number of women at every level of higher education in the US has been rising for decades. Last year, for the first time ever, women earned more doctoral degrees than men − but the number of women who achieved the distinction in business still lagged far behind.
Statutory guidance published two weeks ago by the Legal Services Board, which oversees the regulation of lawyers in England and Wales, will require law firms and barristers’ chamabers to reveal information about the diversity and socioeconomic background of their staff.
Women in the US still earn significantly less than men, even when they work the same number of hours, according to a study released on Thursday by the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University.
In Virginia Woolf’s famous essay of 1929, the author argued that a women needed financial independence and “a room of her own” to be able to write (as well as men, was the inference).
The line now is that women need flexibility to be able to participate fully in the employment market, which explains why more and more women are now choosing to work from home.
For women who have put their careers on hold to have a baby, spend more time with their children or care for ageing parents, returning to the workforce presents serious challenges.
In an effort to retain more of their women employees, many companies implement work/life balance policies such as flexible working hours, childcare facilities at the office, and options for telecommuting.