Are high-powered women left on the shelf?

Joanna Parfitt on magazines aimed at the female executive

Browse through the magazine stands in any newsagent and it appears that women looking for a good read get a far better deal than men. Gripping headlines, free gifts, competitions and the promise of in-depth interviews and features on all kinds of lifestyle issues. Turn to the business section of the stands, however, and it's a different story.

Dee Ryan, operations manager of Cendant International Assignment Services in London, claims that while mainstream female titles do include the occasional profile of superwomen, the majority of these magazines focus on sex and shopping. "I want to hear about great women, how we have evolved and developed and how to make my life easier," agrees Alice Hurley, a project manager with Logica.

Echoing the view of an increasing number of women, she explains: "I want a magazine that is for women who work in male-dominated industries, not just for women who run their own beauty, health or fitness businesses. I want to read about the glass ceiling, financial independence, investing in an MBA, networking, living out of a suitcase and the work/life balance, for example."

She could, of course, turn to unisex business titles such as Management Today. One look at October's issue, though, and it becomes apparent that the advertising is aimed chiefly at men. The majority of the editorial also seems to focus on men, although there is one article on feminine leadership skills.

So why, when 42 per cent of today's managers are women, is it so hard to find a magazine that caters for the female manager or entrepreneur? Angela Giveon is editor of Executive Woman magazine, which first saw the light of day back in 1987. She believes that it is largely because such publications require a very particular mix of content. Some magazines have simply got it wrong and consequently failed. "We refuse to trivialise women," she explains. "We have regular fiscal, legal, coaching and practical features, and employ some of the finest women writers, like Tricia Mansfield and Lesley Abdela."

But despite Executive Woman's attention to content, the launch of its internet site last month and its new sister publication for the car-buying professional woman, Ignition, it still remains no mean feat trying to get hold of the magazine.

Another publication to leap at the gap in the market for a thinking, working woman's magazine is Women's Business, which was launched on the UK news-stands in September. Like Executive Woman it includes motoring, legal, financial, coaching and practical features. The internet, networking and the work/life balance are also regulars.

Unlike Executive Woman, however, the number of health and beauty items is kept to an absolute minimum. "I hope not to have to succumb to being led by health and beauty advertising. And when we do feature such issues we try to look at them from a self-image or self-performance angle," explains Ruth Dance, editor of Women's Business.

Women's Business was born out of Ms Dance's own need for a professional magazine that was woman-friendly without being too feminist. "I wanted to show advertisers that we could provide a platform for their services to be promoted to women. So many products were being marketed in male- oriented magazines. It seemed to me that they were missing out on a whole extra market."

Executive Woman website: www.; tel: 0208-420 1210

Women's Business e-mail: wib.society; tel: 01780 489111

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific