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Friday, 19 March 2010 10:28

Russian Women Break Glass Ceiling

By Vladimir Kozlov

MOSCOW, March 15 (MN) - More and more women are reaching senior positions at work - but recruiters warn it is too early to talk about a "revolution" in equal opportunities.

As many as 93 per cent of chief accountants, 70 per cent of personnel directors and 47 per cent of finance directors are now women, according to a recent survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Russian Association of Managers.


Moreover, in the first two months of 2010 more women were appointed to top posts than left them, leaving the survey's sponsors talking about a possible change of attitude.


Most people felt that pay and conditions were the same for men and women, with only 18 per cent saying their company paid women less than men in similar positions.


However, recruiters say that even though employers don't specify the gender of candidates for management roles, the upper echelons are still a male-dominated bastion.


"It is quite a rare occasion that the gender of a future employee is indicated in an employer's request sent to a recruitment agency," Tatyana Dolyakova, general director of Penny Lane Personnel, told The Moscow News.


"However, in practice, male employees account for 70 per cent of management positions. Of course, on the one hand, the world of business was created by men and therefore a handicap of this kind is not surprising, but, on the other hand, a lot depends upon the particular industry."


Although most participants felt there were no limits on women's opportunities in their companies, according to Dolyakova this varies from industry to industry.


In the production sector, heavy industry and banking, female top managers are rather unusual, as those industries have been traditionally dominated by men. The situation is reversed in the beauty and fashion industries, where the majority of top positions are held by women.


As well as "male-dominated" industries, there are still "male-dominated" positions, like production director, general director, chairman of the board and the company president, according to the survey.


The notable exceptions in these businesses seem largely to prove the rule.

"There are examples of a traditionally ‘male' business being run by a woman, like general director of [the sea food producer] Ledovo, Nadezhda Kopytina, or president of [the construction, development and petrochemicals group] Inteko, Yelena Baturina", Dolyakova said. "Similarly, a man could successfully manage a ‘female' business, like Alexander Glushkov, the owner of the beauty parlour chain Mone.


"But in general no revolution is in sight in the market for top managers." 




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