Tag: survey

Liz Bolshaw

A report published today by the Institute of Leadership & Management in the UK suggests that 73 per cent of women believe the glass ceiling still exists. The survey also finds that more than a third of women believe their gender has hindered their career progression.

These findings come just days before Lord Davies’ much-anticipated report into quotas is due to be published. As reported last week in the Financial Times, it is widely expected that his committee will not be in favour of quotas, instead putting pressure on headhunters to produce candidate lists that include 30 per cent women.

In the ILM online survey of 3,000 managers, evenly split between genders, almost half of women respondents (47 per cent) supported the imposition of quotas, against just 24 per cent of men. Moreover, while women over 45 were most in favour of quotas, with support from two-thirds of the sample, men in the same age group were most strongly opposed to them. Perhaps unsurprisingly, just 38 per cent of male respondents said they believed a glass ceiling still existed.

A clear majority of female managers were in favour of a subtler approach to gender equality in the boardroom and senior management. Almost two-thirds (62 per cent) agreed that “positive action” should be undertaken to increase the number of women in senior positions, compared with 42 per cent of men.

The survey also found a significant gap between men’s confidence and ambitions compared with those of women. While 70 per cent of male respondents described themselves as having “high” or “quite high” levels of confidence, only half of women did. Two-thirds of men said they expected to become managers at the outset of their careers, compared with just half of women.

The report also reveals that women, especially younger women, are more likely to aspire to run their own businesses. A quarter of women under 30 surveyed said they planned to start businesses within 10 years. This finding underlines other media reports, discussed recently in this blog, that women may be leaving working cultures where they feel unwelcome and choosing to go it alone.

Penny de Valk, chief executive of the ILM, had this to say on the findings:

“Employers who are serious about increasing gender diversity at the top need to recognise and respond to these differences, and find ways to nurture women’s ambition. This means developing transparent talent management systems and introducing leadership career models and development approaches that flex to meet individuals’ differing needs. Coaching and mentoring, in particular, have an invaluable role to play here.

“We know that gender diversity drives organisations’ financial performance. Business leaders should need no encouragement to realise this competitive advantage by ensuring their most talented employees move into leadership roles, regardless of their gender.”

Liz Bolshaw

Catalyst, the US-based think-tank, has just published a new report compiled from the responses of 700 respondents based in Europe at senior levels – 55 per cent of whom were women and 45 per cent men. The focus was on executives in large companies (60 per cent of the companies surveyed had 10,000 or more employees, and 85 per cent had a global scope).

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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.