20th August 1999
GLASS CEILING BREAKTHROUGH STILL A STRUGGLE
Recent reports by academics at the University of Lincolnshire & Humberside have revealed that women are still struggling when it comes to attaining senior positions in management and politics.
And some girls in Hull are still not achieving their full potential because of social barriers, according to one finding.
The reports have been published in a special edition of ‘The Regional Review’ exploring gender issues which is published by the Yorkshire & Humberside Regional Research Observatory, a consortium of all universities in the region.
Dr Jacqui Briggs and Prof Gary Craig were invited to edit the review. They wrote in their guest editorial that women are making significant in-roads into middle management and regional politics, but may still experience serious difficulties breaking through the ‘glass ceiling’ into higher and more responsible positions.
In a separate article, Dr Jacqui Briggs said there are still some serious issues to be addressed. “Women have always had a raw deal as far as political representation is concerned,” she said “More women in government , including regional government, is undoubtedly a step in the direction of increasing gender equality.”
John Knowles is the project officer for the Access to Higher Education Project run from the university. In his Review article Mr Knowles states that fewer girls than boys leave school with no qualifications in the Hull area.
Using data from the Department for Education and Employment which compares Hull with England as a whole, Mr Knowles found disparities between the sexes, with often the more able pupils falling behind.
“”The picture for boys is on eof resignation to a bleak future; for girls, despite better secondary educational performance, it remains one of limited aspirations and lack of opportunity.”
According to university lecturer, Jenny Headlam-Wells, who also contributed to the Review, women who are as equally qualified as men are still being overlooked for senior positions.
The role of children and partners in their lives was seen as a significant factor in their success. Mrs Headlam-Wells interviewed high-earning female managers and part of the findings revealed that establishing a career well before having children and then not taking a career break for more than six months was an important part of their success.
Mrs Headlam Wells runs women into management courses at ULH.
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