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Women still hitting the glass ceiling in UK firms

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Nearly 40% of businesses across the world do not employ a woman in a senior management position, according to a survey published on International Women’s Day by Grant Thornton.

This number is unchanged since the last survey four years ago and suggests that many companies in Britain are not making a significant UK investment into the pool of talent represented by women.

However, the worst country for employing women in senior positions is Japan, where only 25% at the higher levels of corporate life are female.

Another study, undertaken by accountancy and consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, reported a 40% drop in the number of women in senior management roles at UK FTSE 350 firms between 2002 and 2007.

This was attributed to a newly discovered entrepreneurial ethos in ambitious and talented women wanting to make a UK investment by starting their own businesses and leaving corporate life.

Sarah Churchman, head of diversity at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said that companies “were creating problems for the future” by not promoting women to the level they merited and were wasting a UK investment opportunity by doing this.

The Grant Thornton study reported that 64% of UK firms had at least one woman in a top role – although this was less than in Greece (73%), mainland China (91%) and the Philippines (97%).




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