The glass ceiling is dead as a concept for today’s modern career
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...of advisory, Harry Gaskell, agrees. He says that the barriers identified in the survey reinforce Ernst & Young’s belief that encouraging and supporting women into senior positions is a talent pipeline issue. As a result he believes that organisations need to ensure they are supporting women at every stage of their career lifecycle, not just as they are about to enter the boardroom.
Age is the biggest hurdle
Delving into the findings behind the barriers, the survey identified age — perceived as either too young or too old — as being the biggest obstacle that women face during their careers. 32% of women questioned said it had impacted on their career progression to date, with an additional 27% saying that they thought it would inhibit their progression in the future.
Most markedly it was women in the early stages of their career that seemed to be most acutely impacted — with half of all respondents between 18 and 23 saying age had been a barrier they’d already encountered in their career.
“Age is a very complex issue, especially when it’s linked to perception. It’s concerning to see that women seem to be most vulnerable during the formative stages of their careers, when they are working their way through the ranks,” says Liz.
She argues that businesses need to be aware of pervasive attitudes towards age as a barrier within organisational culture, and suggests that one way of managing this is to encourage diverse role models within an organisation, who can visibly demonstrate that age is not an inhibitor to opportunity and progression.
Exploring the experience and qualifications barrier
Barriers related to a lack of experience or qualifications also featured strongly in the survey. It was the second highest factor that had inhibited women’s careers to date (according to 22% of respondents),... continued on page three >