The 30% Club released research last week that had some very interesting statistics. The most profound, however, is the fact that having children isn’t what prevents many women from reaching senior positions.
A male starting a career in an FTSE 100 business is 4.5 times more likely than a woman to make it to the executive committee but this isn’t necessarily because women are the ones having babies.
The overall career impact of having a family, according to the study, is less than people initially thought. The research found that whilst childrearing could slow down a woman’s career, it doesn’t affect their overall ability to make it to the top.
Rachel Short, director at business psychologists YSC, said that the gender gap between men and women turns out to be between those who do not have children.
Childrearing has also been ruled out as a major setback because careers are likely to last longer in today’s society. Nowadays, most professionals have careers that span four to five decades. Therefore five years of childrearing shouldn’t be the difference maker. Women actually become more ambitious about senior leadership the more their career progresses.
The report, which surveyed FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies, found that men and women share many similar career aspirations when it comes to leadership behaviour. The study revealed that while their aspirations may be the same, even the slightest differences could lead to very different outcomes.