Saturday, 30 August 2014

Women fail to reach the top

Women are under-represented on boards and in top executive posts, an Inside Housing survey of 67 of the largest social landlords in the UK has revealed.

Just 38 per cent of senior management and 35 per cent of board member posts in the housing organisations polled were filled by women, the study showed.

Women fill the lion’s share of lower level jobs - 56 per cent - in housing associations, local authority housing departments and arm’s-length management organisations.

The research also showed that women are in the minority at middle management level: fewer than half such posts - 47 per cent - are held by women.

However, in a separate Inside Housing survey of 328 workers carried out last month, most housing professionals described gender equality in the sector as either great or good for female employees. Ninety-four per cent of those polled were women.

Four in 10 of those surveyed said there was a glass ceiling for women in the housing sector. Almost a third of respondents said a male colleague may have been promoted ahead of them purely because of their gender.

Readers' comments (13)

  • Fear & Loathing

    My experience in recent times shows that RSLs don't seem that keen on men either if they are over 50.

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  • I start from the view that there is a glass ceiling in every sector with some being very pronounced.

    Yet the statistics produced here show that women fare better in the housing sector than most others and that should be celebrated.

    When the idea of this study ws announced I stated that it would e good to separate general needs and supported housing as the latter has a majority of females employed, yet this appears not to have been done.

    Quoting stats that sy 40% believe there is a glass ceiling simply allow the point to be made that 60% - the vast majority - dont; and if only one-third perceive that men have been promoted because of gender, then two-thirds dont.

    What has been done, very regrettably, is that the report has been developed by women who chose to call it "Women on Top" - Naming a significant and allegedly important study after a book on women's sexual fantasies is in itself a highly sexist and derogatory choice and erroneously keeps the focus on gender rather than ability or inequality.

    Shoddy reporting on a serious subject with clutching at straws trying to prove a given hypothesis that even the the majority of the women surveyed dont believe

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  • Gavin Rider

    Jack - I don't find the phrase "women on top" anywhere except in your somewhat cynical comment. Have you actually read the report?

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  • Jon

    Gavin....Have you?

    http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/analysis/in-depth/women-on-top/6513633.article

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  • Gavin Rider

    Interesting perspective in this article:

    "The research also showed that women are in the minority at middle management level: fewer than half such posts - 47 per cent - are held by women".

    Is a 3% deviation from equality really statistically significant given the size of the study? I doubt it. This looks like someone trying to make a point with a particular bias despite what the evidence actually says, rather like the rural housing enablers who claim there is a huge rural housing need when the evidence actually shows something else.

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  • Gavin Rider

    Jonathan - thanks for the link.

    This article is talking about a study, not a publicity event. the link in this article is to a report about the study.

    The link you have given is to a report on a publicity event organised by Inside Housing, which is not quite the same thing.

    But I take your point that the phrase has been used elsewhere.

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  • Jack Daniels

    Studies show that the cooler you, the quicker you can rise - just look at an ice cube dropped into a glass of warm whiskey....

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  • Jack Daniels

    You can tell I have had one too many!

    It should have read:

    Studies show that the cooler you are, the quicker you can rise - just look at an ice cube dropped into a glass of warm whiskey....

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  • Jack Daniels

    You can tell I have had one too many!

    It should have read:

    Studies show that the cooler you are, the quicker you can rise - just look at an ice cube dropped into a glass of warm whiskey....

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  • Gavin the 3% deviation I fully agree with is irrelevant. For me the key issue to be welcomed is the perception of women to the glass ceiling as this is much better than I anticipated.

    The belief of women is very important. If the clear majority of them perceive there not to be a glass ceiling then that is very promising. To expand on that point I would expect far more than 40% of men believe there IS a glass ceiling. As I opened with originally above, I belive there is a glass ceiling in all sectors as I imagine most men would too. So for the minority of women to hold that view is truly surprising and very welcome news for equality in this sector

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