We are all aware that there are many reasons why relatively few women make it to the top of organisations. Having and caring for children clearly may impact a woman’s career path. Governmental policies around maternity and paternity leave, the available of flexible working arrangements and the cost of childcare are all cited as factors influencing the choices families face as they seek to balance the needs of the family with opportunities for one or both parents to develop their careers.
The 30% Club has undertaken a comparative study of these factors across 8 OECD countries to see if there appears to be a causal link between them and the representation of women in senior management roles. One challenge in undertaking any form of analysis of this type is that the policies are evolving and some countries have, for example, only recently introduced shared parental leave and access to flexible working. Within these constraints, we hope that the analysis is of interest and that some of the findings – for example, the comparatively high cost of childcare in Britain – may help identify solutions to the problem of too few women at senior levels in business. We intend to update the analysis as the history and data develops.
With many thanks to Emma Saragossi, undergraduate at Oxford University for undertaking this research on behalf of the 30% Club.
- Mothers on boards, an international comparison prepared by Emma Saragossi for the 30% Club, August 2013