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25/11/2010

Women 6 times less likely to get top financial jobs

Research carried out recently by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) has identified that, despite a third of its members being women, female finance professionals are six times less likely than men to make it to the top. A damning statistic – unfortunately supported by the fact that just over 12% of FTSE 100 board positions are held by women. So why, when the link has been proven between women in senior roles and strong financial performance and competitive advantage, do women still lag behind men in terms of seniority and salary.

The report, Breaking glass – Strategies for tomorrow’s leaders, addresses the issue and suggests that women are facing two main challenges - achieving a satisfying work-life balance and being taken seriously in a male dominated business. The report also identifies that men are more likely to promote their achievements, volunteer for special projects, get international experience and move about in order to advance in their careers.

Caroline Naylor, partner at leading Sheffield financial recruiters CRA says: “I have met many female finance professionals who are passionate about their jobs, and who have successfully achieved senior positions, but it is true that it does take an unequal amount of dedication on their part to get to the top. CIMA’s findings are not that revealing, and it is sad that we don’t seem to be moving on. However, the report offers more than statistics and female finance professionals are sure to welcome the tips and advice from inspiring women who have made it to the top of their careers. One contributor, Claire Ighodaro CBE, FCMA – a non-executive director of Lloyd’s of London and trustee of the British Council says “I once thought I had to emulate my male bosses, but I don’t think it is necessary. Things like professionalism, leadership, good risk taking and strategic thinking are not necessarily male characteristics.” I wholeheartedly agree with Claire and try to use the same mantra in running my own business.”

For a copy of the report – which calls for improved access to the top decision making roles for women and cessation of women having merely a token presence – and for details of some of the top financial positions available in South Yorkshire, contact Caroline on 0114 241 8030, email caroline@craconsultants.com. www.craconsultants.com