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Blackpool leads way on top jobs for women: Resort town ahead of capital, report shows

WOMEN are more likely to have management jobs in Blackpool than anywhere else in Britain, according to a report published today.

The report, compiled from census data by CACI Information Services, shows 45 per cent of management and executive positions there are filled by women - compared with a national average of less than one-third.

London comes second with 40 per cent of corporate managers and administrators being women. But this trend is not shared by the rest of the country, with only Blackpool and London topping 40 per cent.

The lowest numbers are in East Yorkshire and Chelmsford in Essex where 26 per cent of top posts are held by women. The national average is 32 per cent.

Louise Ellman, leader of Lancashire County Council, where all three parties are led by women, said she was delighted: 'We've always tried to encourage women to get to the top,' she said.

'We have encouraged the provision of nurseries and within the local authority we have introduced flexitime, job-sharing and career breaks so that those who leave have a way of coming back, as well as organising management courses for women to get their business ideas off the ground.'

Maxine Callow, a magistrate and former deputy mayor who leads the borough council's Conservative group, said she attributed women's success to their upbringing. 'People in Blackpool are brought up to stand on their own two feet - it is a very enterprising town,' she said. 'There are more self-employed people here than anywhere else in the country and women have pursued this.'

The main employer is the leisure industry. About 17 million people visit Blackpool each year, and they spend pounds 400m.

Sylvia Brown, who runs the Chimes Hotel on the promenade, said that women made the day-to-day running of the leisure industry possible. 'It is women who keep the hotels going,' she said. 'I do the bookwork and organise the four girls who work for me, while my husband does the cooking.'

Nevertheless, the high proportion of successful women in Blackpool does not mean there is an increase of men in secretarial and clerical jobs. Only one-quarter of these jobs are filled by men, compared with 40 per cent in London.

The leader of East Yorkshire borough council, Mike Clubley, said he had no idea why there were so few women managers in his area. 'We do have a positive policy towards women in local government but last time we had a vacancy for a senior post very few women applied,' he said.

'I wish we had more women - they have much more organised minds than men. And they are much better at housekeeping - that is, organising money.'