‘Majority of British women would pick being a housewife over having a career’ – Daily Mail
If recent tabloid headlines are anything to go by, British women prefer being housewives than having careers, they’re severely under-represented at board level and they have fewer career opportunities than men. But how much of this is true?
Servane Mouazan, director of Ogunte, an organisation that works with female social entrepreneurs on ‘building a better world, powered by women’, is all too aware of the gender inequalities that still persist in some aspects of the workplace, but has nevertheless seen massive improvements in recent years. ‘There is a lot more noise about women being involved at board level these days – we’re starting to break the glass ceiling,’ says Mouazan. ‘Women have no issues with being business professionals, although a minority of men may think they do. More and more women are becoming the sole breadwinners and some are earning more than men. They are starting to hold the fort.’
In fact, according to the Professional Boards Forum, which works to increase female representation at board level, 44 per cent of non-executive director roles and 17.4 per cent of executive director roles within the FTSE 100 companies are now filled by women, a significant rise since 2010 where figures stood at around 12 per cent. Considering the government target of having female representation at director level at 25 per cent by 2015, things are definitely moving in the right direction. ‘More women are taking on leadership roles than their predecessors. Women have always been leaders, they just didn’t know it before,’ Mouazan adds. ‘With social media and the growing collective movements supporting gender equality, we are exposed to more stories to learn from, so women have more opportunities to pick and choose role models and promote themselves and their skills – that’s a great boost to confidence. Leadership can take many forms; we’re showing that it’s not just for the big boys.’
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