Nearly half of UK women believe top positions are male-dominated

About 48% of women who are currently working believe top-level positions in their companies are occupied by males, according to a new research by UK telecom provider O2.

O2’s research involved a survey of 2,000 women across the UK. The findings were recently published in a report entitled “Breaking the Boardroom: A guide for British businesses on how to support female leaders of the future,” which was published in CIPD’s website.

The report also said 45% of women think not enough senior positions are being occupied by women. 17% of working women even believe reaching a high-level management position in their company is impossible.

Boardroom diversity has been an issue in the UK for several years. Lord Davies of Abersoch has previously set 2015 as the deadline for FTSE 100 companies to have more women in their boardroom. The goal is to have at least 25% women executives per company; otherwise, sanctions will be imposed by the government. However, as the research suggest, many women still think it is difficult to reach executive positions.

The report mentioned several factors which may have contributed to the small number of women occupying top company positions. While 35% of working women said they want to occupy board-level positions someday, 36% said they do not have the confidence to request for a promotion. 33% also said their goal of obtaining a higher position was derailed by poor line management while 28% said there is too much office politics involved in climbing atop the company ladder.

Ann Pickering, HR director and board member of O2, told CIPD last January 20 that the results of the survey were disconcerting. She said: “While the diversity debate has moved on outside of the office, not enough women are actually seeing this progress at work. If we’re to achieve sustainable and long-lasting change, we can’t just look at women already at the top; we need to focus our efforts on women at every level, creating a strong pipeline of female talent across British businesses.”


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