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The barriers to progression for women: does the glass ceiling still exist?

30 August 2012 #Employment

According to a survey of 1,000 working women conducted by Ernst & Young, the four main barriers to progression for women are:

  1. Being too young or too old, with being too young apparently the biggest barrier
  2. Lack of experience or qualifications
  3. Motherhood
  4. Lack of a female role model.

How can women overcome these barriers?

Those surveyed identified the following main ways in which their organisations could assist:

  • More support after returning to work from having children
  • More support at every stage of the career lifecycle
  • More visible female role models.

The women also identified the following steps that government could take:

  • Enforcing companies to reveal the pay gap between men and women
  • Affordable child-care and tax-relief for childcare
  • Policy guidance on flexible working for businesses

Does the glass ceiling still exist?

Based on the survey findings, Ernst & Young concluded that “the concept of a single glass ceiling is an outdated model”. But has there ever been such a concept? Surely the reasons preventing more women holding senior positions have always been manifold.

Clarkslegal, specialist Employment lawyers in London, Reading and throughout the Thames Valley.
For further information about this or any other Employment matter please contact Clarkslegal's employment team by email at by telephone 020 7539 8000 (London office), 0118 958 5321 (Reading office) or by completing the form on this page.
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