Women sold out on company cars

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The Independent Online
Women managers are less likely to be given expensive company cars than their male colleagues, according to a survey released yesterday. The research shows that female executives find themselves behind the wheel of cars worth less than pounds 9,000 nine times more often than male managers.

It also shows that more than 70 per cent of fleet vehicles worth less than pounds 12,000 are allocated to women. As the price tag of the car rises, the chance that women managers get given them drops.

Very few women employees were given the keys to motorcars worth more than pounds 12,000 and only 5 per cent of women executives got keys to cars at the luxury end of the market - cars worth more than pounds 45,000.

Many women questioned by Cowie, the car-leasing company, which produced the study, were convinced that they would have been given a better car if they were a man.

Sexism was most keenly felt in Scotland. Half of the women bosses north of the border felt hard done by. Nearly a third in Britain said they deserved a better car to reflect their status, compared with only 18 per cent of men.

The report's authors were "surprised" by their findings. "We are surprised, given that one in three company-car managers are female and that there are more women in the boardrooms," said a company spokeswoman.