Laura Tennison: For the glass ceiling to be shattered, there needs to be a revolution at home

Comment

Share
Related Topics

The statistic we need to look at is not how many women are directors of FTSE 100 companies compared with men, but how many women want to be directors of FTSE 100 companies.

Are women really being stopped from getting those positions? Or is it that women have a more balanced view on life and don't always put career above every other aspect?

I'm not being in the least bit sexist in saying this. I think women are extremely good directors and in my company I might be accused of being too pro-women. I have five directors in my company, including me, and they are all women.

But most women would prefer to work for a medium-sized company, or one that values a work-life balance, than for a male-dominated City institution or a FTSE 100 company that doesn't accept there's more to life than making money.

Some women strive for a balanced life where they can have a family and a top job. It is possible, but only if you're not expected to be on the 6am flight to Brussels every day.

A City institution is not the place to go if you're a working mum who wants to make it in a big City firm because you have to be as good as the man for the job. It's vital to get the best person for the job, and in those environments that's often someone who is willing to drop all.

Nowadays I will not sacrifice being there for my children for the sake of my company. I would rather grow my company slower than miss my child's school play.

If large City institutions do move towards creating a better work-life balance for their employees, they must do that for men as well as women. You cannot be sexist either way.

But I think what we may find in the future is that men will start demanding a hands-on role in parenting, and that's when things could change. For now, the attitude is that it's the best person for the job and if they're prepared to work round the clock – and they happen to be a man – so be it.

I welcome the fact that the Government has appointed Lord Davies to look into female representation in business because we have to keep asking questions. The Government needs to ensure that discrimination is kept out of the work place. But they also need to look at the bigger picture and not just the statistics.

I'm not in favour of quotas for women at a board level, though. We need anti-discrimination laws, but I don't think quotas work. It's far too simplistic a way to tackle a very complicated problem.

Laura Tennison is the founder of JoJo Maman Bebe – an independent mother and baby products retailer. She was recently named Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Foundation Primary Teacher

£100 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: We are looking for Founda...

Psychology Teacher

Main Teacher Pay Scale : Randstad Education Leeds: Teacher of Psychology An en...

International Promotions Manager - Consumer Products

competitive + bonus + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: A global entertainment busi...

Data Warehouse & Business Intelligence Co-ordinator

£35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: This new opportunity has responsibilities des...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties  

Poppy Appeal 2014: This is why I won't be wearing a red poppy this year

Lindsey German
 

Devolution for the North would be great if only Manchester didn’t rile the region’s other major cities so much

Chris Blackhurst
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?