Women are their own worst enemies in business, with research released today indicating that a quarter are reluctant to hire a woman who has children or is of child-bearing age.
The findings, commissioned by serviced office operator Business Environment, come on International Women’s Day which annually celebrates women’s economic, political and social achievements.
Despite having a tougher time achieving career success than men, women do little to support their fellow sex and can even be the first to criticise. Nearly three quarters (72%) said they had judged other female colleagues on inappropriate dress, compared to just 60% of men. They also have more respect for male business role models, with a quarter (28%) citing Richard Branson’s management style as one they aspire to, compared with just one in ten (12%) opting for Karen Brady’s.
The results of the survey are disappointing for women, says David Saul, managing director of Business Environment: “It seems that women are just as competitive as men when it comes to getting ahead in their careers and they appear to hire and fire according to what’s best for business bottom-line, regardless of gender.
”But it’s a shame that women aren’t supporting each other more in this day and age. They’ve made great strides over the last century to gain equality within the workplace so to hear that they are not helping each advance their careers really detracts from those efforts.”
However, business-women are still the hardest-working of the sexes and appear to be the biggest culprits of presenteeism. Nearly three quarters (71%) admit they feel it necessary to work longer hours to move up the career ladder, and 64% regularly work despite being ill, compared to 67% and 59% respectively for their male counterparts.
It also appears that women still feel the pressures of being a female in the workplace with 57% compelled to dress more powerfully to get ahead in business. More than a third (36%) also admit to wearing more make-up at the office.
Saul added: “It’s well-documented that women still have some way to go in terms of obtaining the same job opportunities as men and in demanding equal pay. But the evidence suggests that they will do everything within their power to advance their career – akin to their male business colleagues – so it surely won’t be long until they are on an even keel.”
However, women still rate qualities such as ‘understanding’ and ‘calmness’ over ‘dominance’ in a manager, which contradicts the perception of how they behave yet expect to be treated in the workplace.
David Saul is Managing Director of Business Environment
Notes to editor:
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The survey was run by ONEPOLL on a sample of 2,000 UK business respondents – 1,000 of these were women.
Go to www.onepoll.com for more details.