By Daniel Hunter
New research from Interim Women, a business network for women in interim management, set up by Russam GMS revealed a quarter of female interims don’t have a private pension and 60% aren’t considering getting one in the next year. Interestingly, most of the women questioned were over 40 (89% 41-60 years old) and half (54%) haven’t sought any financial planning advice since starting to work as an interim or freelancer.
Although high earners with 62% earning over £80K a year, almost half are worried about their finances and not saving enough for retirement, with a third claiming they worry about their financial future every day. Yet in spite of this, just under half hope to retire by the age of 65.
It seems too that women are not seeing pensions as a way of securing funding for their retirement. A quarter don’t have a pension; a quarter are not aware of how much the state pension is and only half of those questioned are aware of radical new reforms to state pensions that will propose a fairer system for women.
“Our research highlights the importance of financial planning as many interims are failing to plan for their future and many don’t have pensions," Diane Morris, Director of Interim Women said.
"Whilst interim working is attractive because it offers a more flexible, diverse way of working, it can be more risky and uncertain than the world of employment. Most interims don’t know where their next assignment will come from, let alone where they will be in five years’ time, so it is imperative they make provisions for the future.”
Women in interims said that their top financial top challenge was the lack of knowledge about where the next assignment or client will come from with over half stating that they curb their spending in case work dries up. 56% said that getting paid or chasing invoices was one of the least challenging aspects of working as an interim.
Additionally, the recession has impacted the financial fortunes of interims. 55% claimed to have comprised their daily rate during the downturn and half said they have found it difficult to find workor that there have been longer gaps between assignments.
In terms of what they missed about full time employment not having to search for work was the top response; however, job security was the thing they missed the least. Perhaps this highlights a change in attitude because of the recession and the knowledge that no job is seen as safe anymore.
Despite the worries and challenges it would appear that many women enjoy this way of working with just over 40% saying they expected to still be working as an interim in five years’time and only 11% are seeing interim management as a way into full time employment and hoping they would be in a full time position within five years.
“Interim management continues to be a popular choice for many women," Morris added.
"Our research found that one in five women said they had been busier than ever during the last few years as more companies want to hire people on an interim or project basis. This is the sign of the times and indicates businesses are increasingly seeing the value and cost-effectiveness of hiring interims.”
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