Women hit banking glass ceiling

Women in banking are being prevented from climbing the corporate ladder because of a male-dominated management culture.

11 October 2012 / Be the first to comment

Women in banking are being prevented from climbing the corporate ladder because of a male-dominated management culture, according to a new report from the Institute of Leadership Management (ILM).

The ‘Women in Banking’ report explores why so few women are working at senior levels, the challenges they face, and what banking organisations can do to improve the current situation.

It found that British banks are ‘unintentionally’ filtering out top female talent, the ‘glass ceiling’ is actually a ‘succession of cultural and organisational barriers’, and promotion is determined by who you know, rather than merit.

While banking is a highly competitive industry, just 11% of senior roles are held by women, compared with a UK average of 28%. Women feel that the biggest barrier to promotion is the attitudes of senior male managers. This is followed by the greater proportion of men in senior roles, the organisational culture, a lack of flexible working opportunities, and the dearth of female role models.

ILM recommends employees are assessed on their output, not the hours worked or who they know, with better flexible working opportunities and more programmes for sponsorship, coaching and mentoring.

‘At a time of intense scrutiny, our banks need the best and most capable people leading their organisations, irrespective of their gender,’ said Charles Elvin, ILM Chief Executive.

However the research showed that women were far more likely to ask for pay rises and promotions, which may bode well for the future of women working in the field.

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