What holds women back?

Feb 08 2011 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Some things, it seems, never change. According to new research from the UK charity Business in the Community, by far the biggest barrier to women getting senior jobs remains their need to balance work and family.

In fact, fully eight out of 10 female manager and half of male managers pointed to this as the biggest single impediment to women's advancement at work. Nearly six out of 10 women also think that they are seen as less committed to work because they may have family commitments Ė although just one in five men thought the same.

After issues relating to childcare, the most cited barriers to women's progression at work were lack of senior or visibly successful role models (according to 52% of female respondents and 26 per cent of male respondents), stereotyping and preconceptions of women's roles and abilities (cited by 49 per cent of female respondents and 14 per cent of male) and personal style differences (cited by 48 per cent of women and 21 per cent of men).

The report argues that this disparity in attitudes is evidence that men simply don't recognise the barriers put in the way of women's progression and that the stereotype of women taking care and men taking charge is still pervasive.