Gender inequality could be an inside job

The results of a new survey on women working in the finance sector have suggested that women are at least partly to blame for a lack of female managers and business leaders.

The results of a new survey on women working in the finance sector have suggested that women are at least partly to blame for a lack of female managers and business leaders.

Recruitment firm Marks Sattin polled 1,300 professionals working in the finance and accounting sectors across Australia.

According to the survey, while 45 per cent of all professionals working in finance are women, they make up just 26 per cent of the top three levels of management hierarchy.

Somewhat surprisingly, more than one in five women (21 per cent) preferred a male boss, compared with just six per cent who favoured a female manager. The remainder were ambivalent about their manager's gender.

Heightened examination of performance was also found to be prevalent in reverse, with women in management positions having their ability to lead heavily scrutinised by both male and female colleagues alike.

“Real change in this sector needs to be driven by senior leaders and surrounded by a company culture of inclusion,” said Suzanne Gerrard, general manager of Marks Sattin.

According to the study, women stay in a job for two main reasons – work/life balance and career development, and women are twice as likely as men to be attracted to a role and a company that offers flexible working arrangements.

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