Short-list women more likely to get job: Roger Trapp looks at an 'encouraging' skew in statistics in top appointments

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The Independent Online
WOMEN have a greater chance of being appointed to key management positions than men once they have made a short-list, according to research from a leading executive recruitment consultancy.

NB Selection says one in four short-listed women candidates eventually secure positions paying pounds 30,000 to pounds 75,000 a year. Only one man in six on a short-list gets the job.

The gap is even bigger for those moving from the written application to the interview stage. There, 22 per cent of women, compared with 10 per cent of men, are successful. Dr Elisabeth Marx, head of the firm's psychological assessment practice, said that, while significantly fewer women applied for the positions, the results were 'certainly encouraging' when statistics suggested a decline in the number of women in management.

In May, the Institute of Management reported that the proportion of women at virtually every level of management had fallen for the first time in 21 years. While the percentage of women managers had grown from 1.8 per cent in 1974 to 10.2 per cent in 1993, it fell to 9.5 per cent this year. The study also said the average woman manager was paid pounds 27,862 - nearly pounds 5,000 less than her male counterpart.

Women directors were paid an average of pounds 20,000 less than men.

The NBS survey was compiled from 85 assignments completed by its London office last year. An in- depth study was then done of a random sample of 31 assignments involving more than 3,000 applicants.

Dr Marx said the skew in favour of women applicants was spread evenly across the private and public sectors and also applied to most business sectors.

Further research will seek out the reasons for the imbalance. However, she suspects that it may be due to women being better qualified and more conservative, in that they apply for posts only where they meet all the requirements, while men tend to be less discriminating.

'I hope the present findings will motivate more women to apply for senior positions,' she said.