Women still not in line with men
Although women are entering the job market in ever-increasing numbers, their progression to senior management positions is still blocked by that seemingly impenetrable barrier - 'the glass ceiling'.
"Women occupy approximately one fifth of all management positions," says Sharon Jenkins, Director of Victoria Lewis Recruitment.
"There is a higher percentage of women in management ranks and with higher salaries, but this is still not in line with men", comments Sharon Jenkins.
At the high end of the job scale, names such as Stella Rimmington, former chief of M15 and Nichola Horlick, former MD of Deutchse Morgan Grenfell spring to mind. Note the use of the word 'former'. These women have not stayed in these positions and their replacements have not been women.
On average, women earn an astonishing 42 per cent less than their male counterparts (source: The Equal Opportunities Commission).
Predominantly, women have a higher presence in the roles of PA and secretary. "But these roles are becoming more managerial," says Sharon Jenkins. "The technology revolution is producing a breed of secretaries who willingly take on a multi-functional role which includes efficient use of IT systems, integral business decisions and customer-service awareness."
As a 'flexible workforce' is heralded as the future of the business marketplace, women, with their willingness to accept the challenges of flexible working, are in a position to capitalise on their ability to multi-skill and juggle the ubiquitous balls. And perhaps with well-aimed throws, the glass ceiling phenomena can surely be shattered.