Gender equality in the workplace

30 September 2016

We surveyed over 200 senior female executives working at the top of British business on gender equality in the workplace.

Lucy Trueman, a local government transformation specialist and Odgers Interim candidate spoke to us about her views on our the key findings:

42% of respondents found that the glass ceiling exists in both the public and private sectors.

Lucy Trueman said: “I have had more positive experiences in terms of gender equality in the public sector. The glass ceiling most certainly exists, but I find that it’s much more apparent within private sector settings.”

Almost half of those surveyed (47%) believe there are too few senior leadership opportunities for women.

“Forms of gender inequality in the workplace are often subliminal and subtle. Although I have been lucky enough to work with some great female leaders, there have been occasions where I have been the only senior female manager within my team. We need to inspire younger generations and make them realise climbing the career ladder is achievable.

“While I don’t feel that my gender has systematically held me back, this is because I have done all I can to prevent it from doing so. I’ve had to develop incredibly thick skin over the years, and I don’t know that everyone would handle the hurdles in the same way.”

One in four (25%) feel they have been discriminated against because of their gender. 

“I’ve witnessed discrimination on multiple occasions. I have seen a lot of subtle instances in the public sector, and more obvious examples in the private sector when I have heard individuals air that they don’t want to appoint a woman.

“There is also a misplaced assumption that women will take their foot off the gas when they have children. This is not placed on men when they become fathers and it needs to stop.”

63% of women believe they have less influence in permanent roles than in interim placements 

“I definitely feel I have more influence as an interim than I do when I am in permanent positions. I don’t think there is any science to this, it may be because I am employed as an expert and am therefore respected as one.

“I feel it’s my duty to speak about my experiences and encourage other women as a consequence. I find that some women don’t value their own skills enough to become an independent professional interim, and I want to help them to believe otherwise.”


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