Shattering the Glass Ceiling

By Robert Half, PRNE
Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Despite 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day, Female Earnings Gap Persists

LONDON, March 3, 2011 - There continues to be an earnings gap appearing between men and women
according to new research released by recruiter Robert Half UK from the fifth
annual ICAEW/Robert Half Career Benchmarking Survey. Overall, an average
basic salary of GBP62,300 (median GBP55,000) for females is around 70% that
of their male colleagues' GBP89,500 (median GBP76,500). For those in the
earlier stages of their career (under the age of 30), the earnings gap
between females and males appears to be widening. In 2010 males under 30
earned an average of GBP8,000 more than their female counterparts and in 2009
the difference was an average of GBP2000.

This discrepancy reflects in part at least influences from other factors
found in the same survey, such as female ACAs being more likely to work
part-time at critical career development stages, for example 24% of female
ACAs aged 30-45 are working part-time, compared with only 3% of their male
colleagues, or that male ACAs are more likely to work within the private
sector or outside the UK where higher salaries are on offer.

"These results are certainly concerning, and indicate that there are
inconsistencies between men and women within the accountancy profession,"
said Phil Sheridan, managing director of Robert Half UK. "Robert Half
supports emerging policies to make recruitment processes more transparent and
offer women a seat at the decision-making table, especially in light of the
100th anniversary of International Women's Day. It is also important that
women who are looking for an executive or C-level role have a plan in place
to tackle any challenges they may encounter on their climb up the career

Robert Half UK offers the following advice on how women can successfully
manage their executive career path:

Create a Career Plan

Determining where you want to go and then developing a detailed career
plan for getting there will allow you to make a difference in your
organisation, while assisting you in laying the groundwork for your journey
to the top. You'll find it much easier to keep your eye on your ultimate
career goals if you have outlined an effective plan on how to do this.

Consider What You Really Want

Initiate your planning process by taking time to think about what you
want to accomplish and why. Ask yourself the difficult questions you need to
consider, like are you prepared for the long hours and responsibility that
comes with being a senior-level executive? Do you enjoy managing people and
solving complex problems? And finally, is your family prepared to make the
adjustments and sacrifices necessary so that you can pursue your leadership

Develop and Build Your Skills Now

Skills development, especially for executive leaders, is an ongoing
process and essential for women who have their eye on the C-suite. Developing
the appropriate technical, managerial and interpersonal skills can lead to
advancement opportunities as well as help prepare for the challenges that lay
ahead. Thoroughly investigate what advanced education and training
opportunities are available and take advantage of any tuition reimbursement
programs offered.

Take Risks

Risk-taking in business requires leaving your comfort zone and tackling
the problems that no one else wants to undertake. One of the best ways to do
this is to seek a variety of responsibilities or positions within your
current organisation, even if some are lateral moves. Showing that you not
only understand, but have been accountable, in part, for a company's fiscal
health, will help you build your skills, while exposing you to a variety of
people and business situations.


People like to work with and support people they know, so don't
underestimate the power of traditional and online networking. Increasing
your visibility by expanding your contacts, both internally and externally,
can play a considerable role in your career advancement. To develop your
network, consider joining professional organisations and attending
conferences and seminars.

About the Survey

The fifth annual ICAEW/Robert Half Career Benchmarking Survey examines
salary and remuneration, recruitment and life cycle trends affecting ACAs.
Conducted by an independent research company in the fourth quarter of 2010,
it includes responses from over 3,000 ACAs in business.

To view a three part video series summarising the findings of the ICAEW /
Robert Half Career Benchmarking Survey, visit our video page (

About Robert Half

Robert Half pioneered specialised recruitment services and today is the
world's leader in the field. Founded in 1948, the company is traded on the
New York Stock Exchange (symbol: RHI) and operates five separate divisions in
the UK, each serving distinct markets. They include: Robert Half Finance &
Accounting and Robert Half Management Resources, for temporary, permanent and
project professionals, respectively, in the fields of accounting and finance;
OfficeTeam, for administrative support, Robert Half Financial Services Group,
for finance and banking professionals and Robert Half Technology, for IT

There are more than 350 Robert Half locations in North America, South
, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. For more information about
Robert Half please visit:

Contacts: Kristie Perrotte, Kristie.perrotte at, +44(0)2073312222

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