Gender stereotypes hindering women in the workplace

 

Stereotypes and myths are the reason women are held back in business rather than issues such as childcare, according to a new report.

The study — called Cracking the Code — found women without children to be as disadvantaged as working mothers when it comes to achieving top-level positions.

The report aims to dispel ten myths that companies use to justify why women are not making it through the ranks.

According to the research, a man starting at a FTSE 100 organisation is 4.5 times more likely to make it to the executive committee than a woman, while senior women are two times less likely to be promoted than their male peers.

Rachel Short, director of consultancy firm YSC which collated the data said: “This really debunks the nonsense about ambition, confidence and child-rearing that are used to justify why women are not making it to executive committee levels.”

Currently FTSE 100 companies have an average of 23 per cent female members working on executive committees.

Helena Morrissey, chief executive of Newton Investment Management and founder of the 30% Club, said: “What I take from this research is that we will only really take a quantum leap towards better gender balance at all levels when organisations treat this as a mainstream, not a 'diversity' issue”.

“Companies have been hiding behind these myths. Firstly businesses must acknowledge these myths and then change their businesses outlook.”

The report, revealed by 30% Club and compiled by business psychology consultancy YSC and KPMG, collated data from top firms accounting for over 680,000 employees.

Pavita Cooper, a 30% Club steering committee member who is leading its Balancing the Pyramid initiative, said: “The research shows women are staying at a senior level in their companies longer than men but are not able to crack through those final two levels to the executive committee.”

Short said the stereotype that women do not have commercial acumen or that men do not have emotional intelligence were to blame for men and women being pushed into different areas of business during their careers.

Despite many women reaching a very senior level with wide commercial experience, the research found that only 7% of women at executive level have responsibility for a profit-generating area of the business with the majority of senior women responsible for internal functions such as HR, legal or marketing functions.

Short added: “Removing the ‘psychological’ barriers for women is just as important as removing the ‘structural’ barriers if we are to fundamentally shift the dial in women’s progression to the very top”.

The report is aimed at showing companies how to tackle pipeline issues to reach equality at all levels across business

News
The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
news
News
i100
News
The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
Voices
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfordshire - £350 - £360

£350 - £360 per day: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfor...

Chief Financial Officer

120-150k: Accountancy Action: We are looking for an experienced CFO from a min...

IT Systems Business Analyst - Watford - £28k + bonus + benefits

£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?