Women - In And Out Of The Boardroom As
Women - in and out of the Boardroom
As more women seek a career to the top', their influence will affect the way that boardrooms function; as will greater flexibility in working conditions, which will enable women to take on more responsible positions. Issues of help with childcare and domestic duties are likely to become less pressing at a senior level, because in most cases the women have older children who have either left home or who do not need constant attention or they earn enough for the expense not to be a problem.
However, for the majority of working mothers there will always be a need for appropriate childcare and other support services, so the demand for their improvement will continue.
Women are encouraging and supporting each other more to increase their visibility and business profile -'More obvious and inspiring role models will help both men and women to understand the exact nature of the contribution and value of women in the boardroom'.
The non-executive route could be extremely useful to women who wish to be involved in the running of businesses, as many boards are now actively seeking female non-execs. One director sees this as a very positive step: 'Having-had board experience in this way, or through setting up our own companies, we are more likely to have credibility when we apply for executive positions and chief executive posts'.
Another describes her own position and its potential drawback as she contemplates becoming a non-executive director: I can see a trend increasing whereby women (particularly those with young children), who do not think they could cope with a more senior job and a home/family, find themselves in senior advisory positions. Although we have considerable influence and power - working as we do for some very senior men - we lack line-management accountability and, to some extent, credibility. It feels like a trap - reasonably well-paid, acceptable hours, interesting work. A good way of training to be a director but, if we wait too long, will anyone ever employ us as one?'