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Proportion of women appointed as senior interim managers surges by almost a quarter in 5 years

Interim Partners points out that a third (33%) of all interim managers are now women compared to 27% in 2008 (source: the Interim Management Association). This compares with just 22% of women on FTSE-100 boards*.

Interim managers are usually appointed at or just below board-level to help with major change and strategic development programmes on a short-term basis. Roles can range from interim Chief Financial Officers and Chief Operating Officers to senior risk managers and sales and marketing directors.

Interim Partners says that more and more women are finding that these senior, short term roles offer them the opportunity to boost their earnings potential, enhance their CVs and enjoy greater flexibility in their working lives.

Mellissa Brown, Senior Consultant at Interim Partners, comments: “Increasingly, women are seeing that an interim career can have many benefits – not least the ability to earn significantly more than is typically on offer as an equivalent full time employee.”

“Taking on an interim post is often the chance many women have been looking for to accelerate their careers. Such a move can enable them to take on high level, high profile roles and be well remunerated for it, but to do so on their own terms.”

“Interim management has the advantage of allowing women to add significantly to their experience and develop their expertise across a range of senior positions within a relatively short space of time.”

Mellissa Brown explains that taking a lead on a series of major initiatives such as large-scale turnaround programmes or strategic restructuring projects for multiple companies enables interim managers to build up a diverse and extensive CV that would take years to achieve working as a full-time employee for one organisation.

“Interim management can give an individual’s profile a substantial boost and enables them to move swiftly up the career ladder. This is particularly important for women who want to make up ground having taken a break to have children.”

“Interim executives’ effectiveness tends to be evaluated on the success and value of the particular project or programme they are managing, so good interims can build up their reputation more quickly than is often possible through the more conventional employee route.”

“Since they don’t see themselves as part of the corporate machine, this can help them to provide a fresh perspective to their employer and at the same time retain their own sense of control over their career.”

Interim Partners says that the fact that the percentage of female interim executives has increased in wake of the financial crisis is no co-incidence.

Mellissa Brown adds, “The recession reinforced the notion that employment does not necessarily mean job security in the way that it once did, so more and more executives, women included, are taking a more entrepreneurial approach to their careers.”

“Having weighed up the risks and rewards of marketing themselves as a self-employed expert manager that companies can parachute in, many are pro-actively choosing this route over more traditional career trajectories.”

*Source: The 30 Per Cent Club

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