How are Women Performing in the Race for Top Jobs?

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In celebration of International Women’s Day this month Interim Partners are examining whether women now have a fair chance in the job race and reminding businesses how placing women in top jobs can enhance the workplace.

It is extremely rare to see pay gaps between female and male interim managers, whereas there can be substantial gender pay inconsistencies within permanent management roles.

In celebration of International Women’s Day this month Interim Partners are examining whether women now have a fair chance in the job race and reminding businesses how placing women in top jobs can enhance the workplace.

After examining the facts it seems that having women on the board can help a company, especially during recession, and a number of organizations are utilizing this approach to maximise their performance. Interim Partners saw the number of female interim managers reach an all-time high towards the end of 2010 with 39 per cent of all interim awarded positions in quarter three being women.

Even to this day, women aren’t always treated the same as men in the job race and equal pay isn’t always guaranteed.

Doug Baird, managing director at Interim Partners, said: “It is extremely rare to see pay gaps between female and male interim managers, whereas there can be substantial gender pay inconsistencies within permanent management roles.”

In spite of recognition in this sphere, a government-commissioned review examining why so few women make it to the top of UK business urged FTSE 100 companies to have a minimum of one in four female board members by 2015 – or risk government sanctions to bring about change.*

The report is expected to result in more women in top jobs in the workplace as companies have been set targets for 2013 and 2015 to ensure that more talented and gifted women can get into the key positions in businesses across the UK. Former trade minister, Lord Davies of Abersoch who led the report, recognised there has been some progress towards gender equality in the workplace but said that “there is still a long way to go.”

Over the past 25 years the number of women in full-time employment has increased by more than a third, and flexible working and the Equal Pay Act has driven improvement. Despite this, currently 18 FTSE 100 companies have no female directors at all and nearly half of all FTSE 250 companies do not have a woman in the boardroom.

This is particularly fascinating given recent findings of Leeds University Business School (LUBS) that suggest that women can make the difference between success and bankruptcy.** The study revealed that having at least one female director on the board appears to cut a company’s chances of going into liquidation by 20 per cent and that having two or three female directors lowered the chances of going bust even further.

This recognised problem-solving ability would suggest that women make excellent choices for interim management positions where a company turnaround or significant changes are required.

Mr Baird commented: “When interims start a new role, they have to be able to hit the ground running and complete complex projects quickly and efficiently. Being able to communicate effectively, juggle demanding workloads and manage stakeholder expectations are all essential skills which all play to what are regarded as women’s traditional strengths.”

Notes:

Interim Partners is a dynamic, innovative and specialist provider of interim managers who help their clients manage change by providing executive resource for company turnarounds, change programmes and short-term cover for executive absence.

For more information contact Interim Partners on +44 (0)207 484 0700

*Information published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on February 24th 2011, for full details see: http://nds.coi.gov.uk/content/detail.aspx?NewsAreaId=2&ReleaseID=418249&SubjectId=16&AdvancedSearch=true

**Study published by Leeds University Business School (LUBS) on March 1st 2011, for full details see: http://business.leeds.ac.uk/news-events/item/articles/2011/March/more-women-needed-in-the-boardroom/

***Stats published by Interim Partners in January 2011, for full details visit: http://www.interimpartners.com/news/number-of-female-interim-managers-reaches-all-time-high/

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Emir Paratusic
Interim Partners
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