Family commitments still hold women back in the workplace

4 Aug

When it comes to equal opportunities in the workplace, it seems that there’s the will – but not quite the way. The onus on women to raise the family is still a block to career advancement, according to a new study.

Resesarch among 180 HR directors by recruitment company Robert Half reveals that one in five believes that women are not on a par with men in the workplace. Half of them think that family commitments are a barrier to women – which backs up what new Dragon Hilary Devey has said about women not being able to have it all in business.

What also holds women back, according to the HR directors in the study, is the lack of promotional opportunities (42%) and wanting a work-life balance (36%).

More needs to be done to help women work round family commitments, yet only 41% of respondents have plans in place to introduce female-specific programmes. Interestingly, 93% believe that having equality policies in place to help women proceed up the ladder are effective in helping women achieve on a par with men in the workplace.

Robert Half UK managing director Phil Sheridan said: “While it is encouraging that most HR directors don’t view men as having an advantageous position over women in the workplace, more needs to be done. Companies should regularly review their succession and remuneration plans to ensure that women are treated fairly and equally, with policies to take into account their family and personal commitments.

“HR policies should help to embrace a culture of progression and innovation within an organisation. This is particularly important in light of the recent report by Lord Davies, which pushes for targets to be implemented to ensure that more talented and gifted women can get into the top jobs in companies across the UK,” he added.

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