V Formation has been working with Friend Partnership and educational consultant Sarah Evans, to carry out a substantial piece of research into the challenges facing women in business, and how these have changed over generations.
Ahead of this year’s International Women’s Day and its #BalanceforBetter campaign, we reveal some of the initial findings of the research, which seeks to answer: ‘Women in Business – can we truly have it all?’.
Close to 900 women took part in the research, spanning a range of age-groups, professions and industries, from business owners, the self-employed, to senior and middle management employees, and retirees.
Denise Friend, founder of Friend Partnership said:
“The research set out to investigate if and how the landscape for working women has changed over recent generations, the sentiment of today’s female employees and female employers, the types of challenges women in business face, along with their successes and sacrifices made along the way.”
Early analysis of the Women in Business survey has revealed some interesting statistics and insights.
More than 80% of women say fulfilling a senior role on a part-time basis is a challenge.
60% say they believe that businesses must offer flexible working conditions to attract high-performing women, but for the 90% of SMEs that are offering flexible working, 80% say this presents a real challenge for their day to day operations.
68% of participants believe the working environment for women has improved since their career began.
A third of the 62% of respondents with children, and the 30% aged between 30 and 40, feel their career has progressed at a slower rate than they had expected.
When it comes to the biggest hurdles facing ambitious women, our survey reveals that for many they have had to choose a career over having children. Further common hurdles are self-limiting beliefs, imposter syndrome, not being taken seriously by work colleagues and peers, and balancing family with a career.
Around half of respondents say they have had to make sacrifices in order to balance work and personal lives, with maintaining a social life, time with the family, career progression, and arts and cultural activities making up the top sacrifices.
Join us on 15 May for the Women in Business report launch
The survey’s findings will be unveiled in full at a reception event in Birmingham on Wednesday 15 May, where a number of the women in business who have taken part in the research will share their stories and views on how employers, educators and policy-makers can help drive a more balanced working environment.