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What holds women back at work?

What holds women back at work?
Childcare, lack of role models and stereotyping and preconceptions of abilities...
According to new research the biggest barrier to women getting senior jobs is the need to balance work and family responsibilities, 82% of female managers and 54% of male managers see this as the main barrier.  The second biggest barrier is also related to childcare. 57% of women managers and 20% of male managers believe that women are seen as less committed to work because they have family commitments.
The research called What Holds Women Back? from Opportunity Now, the gender campaign at Business in the Community, asked over 850 line managers what they thought the barriers to womens progression in the workplace were. The results reveal that male managers are significantly less likely than women (in most cases less than half as likely) to recognise any of the barriers to gender diversity and womens progression. The organisation asked the same survey questions in 2005 and the results show that there has been little change in perceptions in the intervening years.
After issues relating to childcare, the most cited barriers to womens progression at work were lack of senior or visibly successful role models (according to 52% of female respondents and 26% of male respondents), stereotyping and preconceptions of womens roles and abilities (cited by 49% of female respondents and 14% of male) and personal style differences (cited by 48% of women and 21% of men).
Helen Wells, Acting Director of Opportunity Now says:
It is disheartening that in 2011 women still pay a career penalty for having a family. As a society and an economy I believe it is vital that we find a way of better allowing individuals to raise families and fully participate in the labour market. What is also clear from the research is that the stereotype of women taking care and men taking charge is still pervasive. The fact that women are seen as less committed because they may have family commitments appears to be as much of a barrier to progression as the actual family responsibilities themselves. We risk wasting the talents of another generation of women and leaving the boardrooms of UK organisations without the diversity of skills, talents and experiences which will enrich decision making, enhance innovation and make the UK more competitive in the future.
The research was generously sponsored by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
857 managers responded to the survey


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