Women are still being overlooked for the top jobs in Britain according to a new report.
The report, titled Sex and power 2011, by Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) showed that approximately four in five top jobs are being given to men.
It looked at how many women are in positions of authority and have strong influence within their organisation. The report includes 27 different industry categories from the public and private sector.
Inequality increases as women get older
According to the report, younger women are flourishing in the jobs market. More and more are graduating from university. They also get better degrees than men on average. When they are in their 20s, there is no real difference between men and women in terms of occupation and salary.
However as they get older, more men are promoted into management while women are more likely to remain a level below.
Commissioner, Kay Carberry, commented: “Many women disappear from the paid workforce after they have children, so employers lose their skills. Others become stuck in positions below senior management, leaving many feeling frustrated and unfulfilled. Consequently, the higher ranks of power in many organisations are still dominated by men. ”
Equality could take 70 years
The EHRC predict that it will take 70 years before there are an equal number of female directors of FTSE 100 companies.
It is not just in business that women are under-represented but also in politics. The EHRC think it will also be 70 years before we have an equal number of female MPs in the House of Commons. There will be 14 general elections between now and then.
Similar results three years ago
In three years since the last report, the results have not changed dramatically.
The report showed percentage of women in high powered positions and the percentage from three years ago;
– 35.5% of head teachers of secondary schools (36.3% in 2008)
– 22.8% of local authority chief executives (19.5% in 2008)
– 22.2% of MPs (19.3% in 2008)
– 14.3% of university vice chancellors (14.4% in 2008)
– 12.5% of directors of FTSE 100 companies (11% in 2008)
– 9.5% of national newspaper editors (13.6% in 2008)
It shows while some percentages have increased a little and some have decreased a little, overall there has not been a big change in the number of women occupying these key positions.
Women can play a bigger role within companies
Ms Carberry stated “The gender balance at the top has not changed much in three years, despite there being more women graduating from university and occupying middle management roles. We had hoped to see an increase in the number of women in positions of power, however this isn’t happening. ”
Ms Carberry believes that companies need to make the most of their female employee’s abilities especially as we are in such an uncertain economic climate. She continued “If Britain is to stage a strong recovery from its current economic situation, then we have to make sure we’re not wasting women’s skills and talents.”