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In advance of Lord Davies’s report and the annual Cranfield School of Management women’s survey tomorrow:

Estelle James, Director, Robert Half said:

Estelle James, Director, Robert Half

Estelle James, Director, Robert Half

“While business leaders are taking steps to level the playing field between men and women in the workplace, these inroads are not being felt by the employees themselves. According to our research more than a third of women have experienced barriers to advancement during their career, but nearly half (47%) of HR directors believe women are in fact advancing their careers on par with men. Across the wider business community, two thirds (66%) of both male and female employees believe women experience barriers in their careers yet there is huge disparity between the genders, with 57% of men and 75% of women believing that a glass ceiling exists for women.

“It should always be the best person for the job – but offering the right career path and development opportunities coupled with more flexible working options will result in a larger pool of women ready to take their rightful seat at the boardroom table. We only have three women in the FTSE 100, so seeing more in the next few years should be a priority.

“There are some signs of improvement: looking at the financial services industry as an example, 64% of C-suite executives believe that banking, financial services and insurance companies are on track to meet Lord Davies’ target of 25% female board representation by 2015. However this still leaves a third of companies that will not meet his target.”

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