Women Perform Better at Interview Say British Bosses Yet Fear of Maternity Means They're Not Getting Top Jobs

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According to British bosses women perform better at interviews, have better presentation, communication, motivation skills, understand companies and cultures better, are more thorough, affable and better able to balance multiple tasks and yet according to 42.7% of senior management surveyed by TheLadders.co.uk, they will not get the top job because they fear that women will leave to have children.

According to British bosses women perform better at interviews, have better presentation, communication, motivation skills, understand companies and cultures better, are more thorough, affable and better able to balance multiple tasks and yet according to 42.7% of senior management surveyed by TheLadders.co.uk, they will not get the top job because they fear that women will leave to have children.

A poll of 500 bosses by TheLadders.co.uk, a careers site that specialises in £50K plus jobs and executives, found that 59% agree that women perform best at interview with women out-doing men in 11 out of 18 criteria necessary for successful job meetings.

Bosses cited qualifications (80%), fit (working as part of the team and company culture) (70.8%) and personality (65.5%) as the top three considerations in choosing the right candidate. When asked which gender delivered these criteria at interview, an overwhelming number pointed to the fairer sex. 59% of bosses believe women present their skills more effectively, 63.9% say women understand the company culture and 72.3% find women more affable and personable in an interview situation.

However when asked why there are not as many women who secure the top jobs, almost half of Britain’s business crème told TheLadders.co.uk that it was because they fear that women will leave to have children. 54% agree that there simply aren’t as many female candidates as male ones and 51% say that society just expects men to be in leadership roles. Surprisingly 38% feel that there is still inherent sexism in the workplace.

And it doesn’t stop there, a further 45% say that women are simply less assertive when it comes to negotiating the top jobs and top salaries and 44.7% feel that lower pay and recognition for women is part of business stereotyping. Worryingly, over one quarter of those surveyed believe men are rewarded for being more committed than women in their jobs.

Derek Pilcher, Managing Director of TheLadders.co.uk agrees with many respondents who say that whilst women are as qualified as men for senior positions, they simply aren’t applying. “This could be for a number of reasons which may well include the belief that men dominate the top jobs and this scares women from going for interview. Yet women obviously shine at interview and as such should be securing the top jobs when they apply. What is concerning is the un-spoken reasons for not employing women, and in particular the fear of losing female management after they have had children. This too may be seriously impacting the number of women who make it through to leadership roles.”

The gender breakdown of who performs best against the key interview criteria is listed below:

Interview criteria    Female    Male
Thorough and thoughtful    81.10%    18.90%
Communication skills    75.90%    24.10%
Truthful    75.80%    24.20%
Multi-minded and integration focused    73%    27%
Affable and personable    72.30%    27.70%
Presentation in general    72.20%    27.80%
Follower    70.80%    29.20%
Balance personal / professional    67%    33%
Understand company culture and fit    63.90%    36.10%
Team player    61.10%    38.90%
Presentation of qualifications / skills    58.90%    41.10%
Ability to manage (difficult) situations    45.60%    54.40%
Selling achievements    39%    61%
Getting to the point    35%    65%
Assertive and single minded    34.50%    65.50%
Initiator    30.10%    69.90%
Grasping business concepts    28.50%    71.50%
Hunger and ambition    25.40%    74.60%

The study was conducted amongst TheLadders.co.uk members (£50K plus management) in March 2010. The survey is equally weighted for men and women.
Derek Pilcher is available for more tips and advice on effective interviewing.

About TheLadders.co.uk

TheLadders.co.uk is the UK’s leading online recruitment service catering to the hi-end £50K+ job market. Launched in January 2008 the London-based company is the first port of call for senior executives to keep their finger on the pulse of the elite job market, with a suite of services including access to the most £50K+ jobs in one place, links to the UK’s biggest corporate employers, agencies and headhunters, CV critiquing and customised profiling, regular email alerts and an environment to prospect for new opportunities within the country’s biggest industries – finance, sales and marketing, legal, technology and operations.

For further information contact: Bonnie Smail, Ken Hooper, Rebecca Oatley at Cherish PR Limited.
Telephone: 020 8996 9537
Email: firstname(dot)secondname(at)cherishpr(dot)com

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REBECCA OATLEY
Cherish PR
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