Knowledge Center

Breaking the Barriers: Women in Senior Management in the U.K.

While 72 percent of women in the U.K. are working, women represent only 22 percent of management jobs and 9.6 percent of executive directors (Institute of Management Annual Salary Survey 2000). The study explores the views of both senior women and CEOs on the barriers to women’s advancement in organizations and organizational and individual strategies that are essential to women achieving their potential in the U.K. In addition, this study allows comparisons on key questions between women leaders in the U.K. with their counterparts in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Study findings show that senior women and CEOs agree on the top barriers to women’s advancement:

  • Commitment to family responsibilities
  • Male stereotyping
  • Preconceptions about women’s roles and abilities,
  • Lack of senior visibly successful female role models.

However, findings also showed that:

  • CEOs are more than twice as likely as senior women to believe that advancement opportunities for women in their organizations compared to five years ago have greatly improved.
  • CEOs are more likely than senior women to believe that women haven’t been in the pipeline enough.

Sponsors: BP Amoco, BT, Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank, Credit Suisse First Boston, Daimler Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, IBM, NHS, Nortel, The Cabinet Office, Britannia Building Society, The Co-Operative Bank, and Liverpool Hope University College