Saturday, November 25, 2017
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Glass Ceiling Notion Shattered

Ernst&Young

A survey by Ernst and Young has revealed that the old notion of there being a glass ceiling for women is outdated, but not necessarily for the reason you might want to think.

Apparently, now rather than seeing there being one barrier to success, women now list up to four individual barriers that prevent them from reaching a board room position.

The survey asked one thousand women about what they perceived to be the greatest barriers to their success. The four barriers consisted of age, a lack of role models, motherhood and qualifications and experience. Of the four factors, age was the most significant. The problem with age is two fold, either being perceived as too young and therefore lacking the requisite experience or too old and perhaps out of touch. Age is a factor that many women feel has already implicated their careers and others believe definitely will impact theirs in the future. It is not seen as something that might improve.

Second to age came a lack of experience. Increasingly, companies seem to be less willing to give people a chance and in these difficult economic times are looking for more seasoned hands to run their affairs. Motherhood was the third most significant factor. A fifth of those asked felt that this had hindered their chances at board room progression, with a further twenty five per cent believing that having children in the future would cause them the largest difficulty to their career progression.

A lack of female role model in high powered positions is also seen as a barrier to women's success. One in ten said that having no female examples to look up to had affected their progression. What can companies do to prevent these barriers? The top answer amongst those surveyed was to provide more support to returning mothers post child birth. The unfortunate fact is that some women's careers are stalled on returning to work. Things like flexible work shifts could really help as well as more training. It's not just beneficial for the mother but for the company too. They get to retain the talent that they have and encourage staff loyalty.

Chief Executive of the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion, Denise Keating, commented that there needs to be a complete change in attitude in the workplace if we are to prevent women from being overlooked in the future. A few changes in procedure will not suffice. The company has to really understand the need for change and that change must permeate the culture of the company. That way both the company and its employers benefit as well as their clients and customers.

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