Inflexible and hierarchical business environments are the main barrier to women’s progression in corporate organisations, according to new research from global career solutions provider Right Management.

The report, When Women Lead, Businesses do Better, which will be launched at the Women in Leadership event on 19th March, compares the success of women-owned businesses with the lack of female leadership in established corporate businesses, recommending solutions for facilitating women’s career progression to senior roles.

Right Management MD Ian Symes, said:

“Women are still under-represented in senior leadership positions in the corporate world, despite the benefits of having women in board-level positions being widely known. Meanwhile, women-led SMEs are thriving, providing £50bn of UK economic output between 2006 and 2010 and predicted to create one in three new jobs in the US by 2018. We were curious to understand why women are seeing such success in their own companies but not in established businesses and how organisations can better accommodate their evident creative and entrepreneurial zeal.

“We spoke at length with over 35 women in senior roles, in both established organisations and women-owned businesses. We found the same things being said again and again – the corporate environment is the principal barrier to women fulfilling their ambition to lead.”

Based on their research, the career solutions provider recommends using technology to ensure women’s ideas are heard, as well as altering the perceived working environment to include flexibility through part-time leadership roles and implementing reward systems for collaborative working.

Symes added:

“It’s time established organisations look to their women-owned counterparts to understand where they could and should be doing things better. If they don’t, then today’s colleagues could all too easily become tomorrow’s competitors as unsatisfied women leave to start and grow new businesses.”

The report is being launched by Right Management at an event on 19 March, hosted by Right Management, Barclays and KPMG.





Steff joined the HRreview editorial team in November 2014. A former event coordinator and manager, Steff has spent several years working in online journalism. She is a graduate of Middlessex University with a BA in Television Production and will complete a Master's degree in Journalism from the University of Westminster in the summer of 2015.