Monday, 9 November 2015

Women in business

Survey figures show that 97% of PAs in the UK are women (Source: APA PA Survey, 2012) - but only 25% of FTSE 100 Board Directors in the UK are women.  (Source: - 29 October 2015). 

This doubles the number of women directors since 2011, with a new target of 33% of women board members at FTSE 350 firms by 2020.

However, much as we might applaud the increase, it has been revealed that 260 of the 286 women on the boards of FTSE 100 companies are non-executives: in other words, these women are involved in the policy making decisions for the business but not in the day to day operations.

In addition, it should be noted that the FTSE report counts positions held by women not individuals, so women who serve on more than on board would have been counted multiple times. (In other words, the number of individual women in Director roles in the FTSE 100 companies is lower than the 25% of roles reported.)

Whichever way you choose to read the figures, we need more women to aspire to (and gain) top positions in business.

As PAs we are in the PERFECT position to learn about running an organisation, as we usually in a unique role in the company - we are the person who works closest with the Executives. We run their office while they are out, we deal with their contacts and correspondence with ease. We become their business partner, working in conjunction with them, on projects and major tasks. We need to push for more recognition for our skills and worth within the organisations we support, and for more progression routes.

We have the skills, the experience, the expertise and the knowhow - let's use them!

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