Females are six times less likely than their male counterparts to be working as CFOs or CEOs, finds a global survey that polled over 4,500 finance and business professionals from across the globe on use of leadership skills and career progression strategies by gender.
Conducted by CIMA (the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) and the University of Bath school of management, the "Breaking Glass – Strategies for Tomorrow’s Leaders" report states that having more women in senior roles is linked to stronger financial performance, with research showing that it is not enough for women to have merely a token presence: instead, a "critical mass" of women on the board or in senior management--30%--produces the best financial results.
The report finds that men are more likely to promote their achievements within the organisation, volunteer for special projects, seek international experience and change employer in order to advance in their careers.
According to the report, women still lag behind men in terms of seniority and salary; this becomes particularly significant after ten years’ work experience: on average, CIMA male members earn 24% more than female members in the UK and 39% more in Ireland, and in South Africa and Sri Lanka the difference is even wider - 47%.
The report says that employers can help by encouraging mentoring, offering flexible working practices, and actively developing female staff.
"The finance industry has traditionally been a male dominated environment, particularly at higher levels. This needs to change. CIMA has one of the highest growth rates in female members of all the accounting institutes, with 65,000 female members and students internationally. However, there is still some way to go before we see equal representation of female leaders in business," says Charley Tilley, CIMA’s chief executive.
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