City’s female high-flyer total doubles in a year


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The Independent Online

The proportion of women reaching top-level management positions in the City has doubled in the past year, research published today reveals.

It is still a far cry from gender equality, however: 12 per cent of managing directors – the level just below the board – are now women, up from 6 per cent in the previous year, while 19 per cent of all directors are now women, against 14 per cent in 2012.

The research, from  financial services recruitment firm Astbury Marsden, also found that the percentage of women working in the City has grown this year, with women now accounting for a fifth of all professional level City employees, up from 18 per cent  last year.

There is, however, still a preponderance of women in non-client facing, non-fee earning jobs, Astbury found.

Women represent 60 per cent of all City human resources professionals and 40 per cent of internal auditors, but only 19 per cent of corporate brokers and a quarter of private equity workers.

The number of women at the top of the UK corporate ladder remains worryingly low, with just three female chief executives currently running companies listed on the FTSE 100 index.

Unless more are recruited, this figure will fall to two next  year when Burberry’s Angela Ahrendts moves to iPhone maker Apple.

The other female chief executives currently working at FTSE 100 companies are easyJet’s Carolyn McCall and Alison Cooper of Imperial Tobacco.

Mark Cameron, the chief operating officer at Astbury Marsden, said: “A higher proportion of women working in the City are now breaking through the glass-ceiling and resaching senior management positions.”

 “However, there is also the question as to why the women have a much lower overall representation in some of the higher-paid areas of financial services such  as positions in corporate broking and stockbroking or positions in private equity.”