Tag Archives: careers

Launch of first ever ‘Bar Nursery’ to support female barristers’ careers

16 Apr

The Bar Council has launched the first ever ‘Bar Nursery‘, a childcare facility in central London, to help barristers with children honour their work and family commitments.

The Bar Nursery at Smithfield House – near the Inns of Court – will offer flexible, discounted childcare from 7am to 7pm for children aged eight weeks to five years old. The idea is to “ease the pressure” on self-employed barristers, who otherwise may be put off joining the profession. The Bar Council, which represents barristers in England and Wales, may open up further Bar Nurseries across the country, depending on demand.

Maura McGowan QC, Chairman of the Bar, says:”It is important that members of the profession are not discouraged from starting a family because of their work, which could have a detrimental effect particularly on the number of women choosing a career at the Bar. It could also see talented practitioners leaving the self-employed Bar for a more stable working life in employed practice, or even another profession.”

It’s not often you hear of initiatives like this that are practical and take care of short-term priorities as well as keeping a long-term view of talent and diversity. If only other professions could follow suit.


Majority of working women believe they can ‘have it all’

2 Mar

LI_Women@Work_thumbnailTwo-thirds (63%) of working women prize work-life balance over their pay check, and three-quarters(74%) really believe they can have it all. These are the key findings from LinkedIn’s ‘What Women Want @ Work’ study, released to celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March.

The emphasis for working women today is firmly on flexible working. Nearly two thirds (65%) of the 5,300 women who took part in the survey globally said they would like greater flexibility at workplace. And 80% believe a flexible work environment is the most important factor in determining the ‘success of the next generation of professional women’ – even more important than having more women in top jobs.

Having an interesting job was important for 58% of respondents, compared with 45% who prioritised salary. Interestingly, more than half (57%) of women without children thought having a child wouldn’t affect their careers, compared with 43% who do have children.

Another interesting fact emerging from the study is that 71% of women said their appearance Continue reading

Women: do different jobs from men if you want equal pay

28 Dec

The more women do the same jobs as men, they more likely they are to earn less money than them, according to a study of 20 countries by the universities of Cambridge and Warwick in the UK and Lakehead in Canada.

The researchers found that if women do different jobs from men – and there are few men found in that particular profession – then women will have a higher chance of earning more money and reaching the top of their trade.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the study found that where there are equal numbers of men and women working in an occupation, “the men dominate the high-paying jobs”.

From the table below, you can see that pay is most equal in Continue reading

Which jobs will give women the most satisfaction in 2013?

27 Dec

Opting for a profession that requires significant amounts of training, intellect and autonomy gives women the highest satisfaction in their careers. That’s according to a report in Forbes, The Best Jobs for Women in 2013, based on findings by Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D., author of Best Jobs for the 21st Century.

Women working as doctors, dentists and optometrists have 60% satisfaction levels – as well as a decent salary and good job security. Female psychologists and other health professionals such as dieticians, nurses and pharmacists, are similarly satisfied and remunerated in their jobs. Women in other professional roles, such as management and the law, give high satisfaction levels too.

Reasons for offering attractive career options to women is the significant amount of training and education needed to qualify for these professions, and the ability to exercise professional expertise and levels of autonomy. Importantly, delegating admin tasks to more junior staff frees professional women up to focus on their strengths in fulfilling their roles.

Women also feel happy and satisfied in jobs that are traditionally considered more ‘masculine’ – such as the petroleum and actuarial sectors – which Shatkin puts down to women who “likely have a strong personality fit and talent for the work” choosing those career routes.

Obese women face anti-fat discrimination in jobs market

1 May

Obese women are facing anti-fat discrimination. (pic: istockphoto.com/Mik122)

‘Fattism’ is rife in the jobs market, as a new study reveals that obese women are more likely to be passed over for jobs or start on lower salaries than their slimmer colleagues – especially if the people doing the interviewing and job assessments have a high opinion of their own attractiveness.

Researchers at Monash University looked at whether the universal measure of bias (UMB) – which measures anti-fat prejudice – related to whether women would be discriminated against during the job hiring process.

They wrote their findings in an article on Obesity Discrimination: the role of physical appearance, personal ideology and anti-fat prejudice in the International Journal of Obesity, concluding: “Obesity discrimination was displayed across all selection criteria. Higher UMB sub-scale scores (distance and negative judgement), authoritarianism, physical appearance evaluation and orientation were associated with greater obesity discrimination.”

How they came to this conclusion was by asking participants in the study (who were unaware of what they were being judged on) to look at CVs with photos attached, and to rate candidates suitability, starting salary and employability.

Lead researcher Kerry O’Brien said: “We found that obesity discrimination was displayed across all selection criteria, such as starting salary, leadership potential and likelihood of selection for the job.” The higher a participant’s UMB score, the more likely they were to discriminate against obese candidates.

However, an interesting discovery emerged from the research: Continue reading

Women take more career risks when backed by women

29 Nov

For those who believe that women are more risk averse than men, then new research from the Australian National University suggests otherwise: it found that women do make riskier choices when surrounded and supported by women.

Professor Alison Booth, who tested students’ attitudes to risk-taking in all-male, all-female and co-educational environments, found that women were less likely to make risky choices than men – which she concluded was down to culture and belief systems that inhibit women from taking risks. However, after eight weeks in a single-sex environment, women behaved in a similar way to men, and were more likely to take risks. Male behaviour was not affected by the make-up of the group.

Professor Booth said that the findings had implications for gender equality in the workplace. “Recent studies in experimental economics have shown that, on average, women are more risk averse than men. If much of the remuneration in high‐paying jobs consists of bonuses linked to a company’s performance, relatively fewer women will choose high‐paying jobs because of the uncertainty. This is why these findings are important. They show that risk-taking behaviour is not necessarily innate – it can be affected by the environment in which the individual is placed. Given that risk attitudes can be shaped by the environment, changing the educational or training context could help address under-representation of women in certain areas.”

Managers show favouritism to staff with strong work ethic

19 Oct

It’s perhaps no surprise that managers have their favourites among their workforce, but their biases could be affected by the friendships they have with their staff.

That’s according to a survey of 1000 employers by HR consultancy Reabur.com, 31% of managers said they favoured certain members of their team because of their strong work ethic. Of those who show favouritism, 18% said it was because the staff member showed loyalty; 25% said they liked the person’s personality; and 11% because they appreciated the person’s sense of humour.

However, 61% said they have personal friendships with their staff, compared with just 27% who don’t.

Georgina Read, co-managing director of Reabur.com, said friendships at work, particularly in small businesses, can help make a happy, productive and focused workplace.

However, she warned: ‘Business owners and managers need to be careful not to show favouritism, as this can be detrimental to the morale of the team.”

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