Coaching firm Talking Talent this week said 38% of women see flexible working as vital to their progression, with a third calling for more senior role models. While 80% of those questioned said their employer is supportive of them, 44% believe their gender has hindered or will hinder them in their career.
The research found more than seven in ten women rate their employer positively for retaining and progressing female talent. This support and positivity extends to working mothers as 71% say their employer is supportive of them. On the other hand, 36% of women have experienced prejudice because of their gender and 37% of working mothers said the same about motherhood. Twelve per cent of women have been passed over for promotion because of their gender.
Education is ranked most highly for acceptance of the need for work life balance, assessment based on performance rather than hours worked, and attitudes to working mothers. Mothers in this sector also see the lowest level of prejudice and discrimination (25% compared to 34% overall).
Women in law rate their profession most highly for supporting working mothers, with 29% describing it as excellent compared with an average of 14%. They also rated their profession most highly on offering career progression and opportunities for working mothers.
Women in advertising, marketing and media rate their industry poorly on attitudes to working mothers, attitudes to flexible working, and acceptance of the need for work/life balance. Women in this sector were also most likely to say being a working mother had hindered their career progress.
Chris Parke, CEO of Talking Talent, said: “While some sectors are doing better than others, it is clear that UK employers need to do more to ensure strategies to support women are being properly accepted and implemented at the operational level. If employers fail to stamp this out and to introduce measures to support women particularly through maternity, employers will miss out on a huge section of their top talent – something they can ill-afford to do in today’s competitive economy.”
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