The study, which focussed on 1370 women in middle-ranking and senior jobs in four Local Authorities in England, found that women were failing to reach their potential because of inflexible job design and cultural expectations about full-time working and long hours. Of those who did reach senior levels, many felt unable to ask for flexible working or less than full time hours due to an informal rule that this type of working practice was unacceptable.
The study, Women's Career Development in the Local Authority Sector, revealed that many senior women in these local authorities felt a long hours and male dominated culture had disadvantaged them in the workplace. For women with children these practices had a disproportionate impact as they often needed to work part time.
The study found that despite these perceived barriers, many women working in the sector were highly committed to their jobs, enthusiastic about training and development and aspired to successful careers. Over 55 per cent of those contracted to work 31-37 hours a week were routinely working much longer hours, mainly due to their commitment to their jobs.
Over 60 per cent of the women surveyed who earned over £27,000 had never used their employer’s flexible working policies and fewer than 17 per cent of the women in this group were part-time employees.
Professor Sue Yeandle, who directed the research programme at Sheffield Hallam University and is an author of the study explains, "This study acts not only as evidence of what is happening in this particular sector, but raises concerns about women's experiences at work throughout the UK. Local authorities are in some ways very progressive employers, so if senior women in this type of organisation feel unable to work flexibly it is unlikely that women in other organisations are having better experiences.
"None of the authorities routinely advertised senior roles as possible part time opportunities and women who had gone part time often felt that their workload had not been adjusted to take account of the new hours.
"If the UK is to continue to prosper, then the skills, talent and enthusiasm of half its population cannot continue to be under-utilised in this way. We must move on from an employment system designed for the last century - it makes good business sense to design jobs around real people's lives as this is the only way employers can recruit from the best possible pool of people and retain the talent they have."
Jenny Watson, Chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission, said, "These findings show that women are still facing many obstacles in the workplace and often end up in low paid, low prospect work despite being well qualified, especially when they want to work flexibly. There's a real opportunity for all us here. If the pay gap were closed, the Women and Work Commission estimates up to £23 billion could be added to the economy per year. It's particularly important to open up higher paid work to people who want to work flexibly so that they don't have to "trade down" to find the working style they need and employers don't have to lose out on their skills and experience. The EOC's ongoing investigation into transforming the workplace is looking, with employers, at how to do this."
Lorna Branton | alfa
The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses