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Erm, yes?

One must look no further than the FTSE 100’s list of chief executives to see how hard it is for women to reach the top, as an overwhelming 91pc of positions are held by men.

However, even for those who do break through the glass ceiling, research shows that the experience isn’t all that it seems.

The challenges facing women in the most senior City roles were reflected in a new report from recruiter Russell Reynolds, which found that women accounted for a record tenth of all global chief executive departures last year.

According to financier Baroness Helena Morrissey, former chief executive of Newton Investment Management and mother of nine, female chiefs fall victim to “tall poppy syndrome” in the UK.

Birds are 10% of top CEOs. Birds are 10% of CEOs leaving.

And?

12 thoughts on “Erm, yes?”

  1. @jgh

    Simple
    She works all the hours God sends to make shareholders money and she pays someone else to do the wholesome, loving, satisfying task of raising her children.

  2. Back in the 1980s, I did a report for a rival firm on the benefits of non-executive directors. Obviously the conclusion was the one the firm was paying for – you can always torture data enough to get it to tell you what you want it to. On the basis of that Russell Reynolds offered me a job. Seems things never change

  3. It’s pretty difficult for a bloke to become a big-time CEO too. In fact he needs to be a little bit mad to even want the job. To have an excess of ambition at the expense of any sort of a home life. To devote their time to greasy pole politics. Men like that are few, women even fewer. And they, the women that is, never seem to have put the time in, they always seem to have risen without trace.

  4. “However, even for those who do break through the glass ceiling, research shows that the experience isn’t all that it seems.

    The challenges facing women in the most senior City roles were reflected in a new report from recruiter Russell Reynolds, which found that women accounted for a record tenth of all global chief executive departures last year.”

    No job is really all that it seems, is it? Most people can remember going through the job adverts with hope, then the excitement of a new post, and then thinking “What the fuck is all this about?…”.

    And the inference above makes little sense. Maybe those departures loved those jobs and were glad to have had them, but loved the idea of having and personally rearing babies just that little bit more.

  5. Bloke in North Dorset

    One thing the army taught me and it was no surprise to find it occurred civvy street as well: Privileges & perks always go promoted the day before I did and of course the grass is always greener on the other side.

  6. Sam: Yeah, my first job afer Uni, I went through increased levels of excitement: people would actually *PAY* me to write software! After eight years of doing it for my own enjoyment, actually EARN A LIVING from it! Wow!!!!

    Job turned out to be manning phones in the sales/complaints department. I spent weeks wondering how on earth this was the job I’d seen advertised, applied for, been interviewed for, accepted, and moved house for. It was further rubbed in when a couple of months later a new chap started working in a corner of the office – doing exactly what I’d thought the job I’d applied for was: actually writing actual software.

    That was when I walked out, got on a ‘plane to Hong Kong, and spent three years being paid to actually write and maintain actual software.

  7. I am CEO-2 at a large listed firm.

    Today our relatively new CFO was talking about his life as a partner at a top accounting firm. He said he used to have a few meetings in the city. If there was a 90 min break he’d go to the gym. Now, as CFO his diary is rammed from 8-6 most days.

    Me: And?

    That’s why people can’t hack the top roles. The demands are incredible for both time, resilience and stress given the decisions. This alone explains the difference in sex at CEO etc.

  8. My experience of women n business is that the vast majority of the senior ones in proper roles (ie not HR, marketing or ESG) are smart and tough and hard-working. Just as much as blokes and of course just as prone to fuck things up. Like really successful men they rely on delegating (esp for childcare) and only needing minimal downtime eg they never seem to spend an afternoon monging in front of the telly with a glass of wine or a spliff. As noted by others, not many people of either sex are like this.

    Amusingly, the Telegraph illustrates this article with a photo of the bird from John Lewis, who is very much outside the type I describe above. She is under fire for the sole reason she’s been utterly fucking useless. Whoever appointed her – a civil servant with zero business experience – ought to be strung up.

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