Childcare and flexible working fail to retain female managers

The number of female senior managers in UK businesses has sharply fallen in the last five years despite the use of flexible working arrangements and childcare benefits.

According to the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) Monks gender data for FTSE350 posts, the number of senior female managers gas fallen by 40% over the last five years. In 2002, women occupied 38% of senior manager level posts in the FTSE 350, but this has gone down to just 22%. This fall has come despite increased availability of flexible working and the appointment of heads of diversity to address diversity issues and retain talent.

The ranks of FTSE 350 female full-time chairmen or chief executive have grown, but can still be counted on one hand. A possible reason for this trend is the increased costs of childcare. According to the Daycare Trust, the cost of a typical full-time nursery place in England has grown by 27% in the last five years.