Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Glass ceiling still evident for women in Local Authorities

12.07.2006
A new study has found that women within local authorities can feel that they are unable to apply for senior positions within their capability because of the design of job roles.

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
Further information:
http://www.shu.ac.uk

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>