Women in Wireless Launch Landmark Career Survey Results

A survey by Women in Wireless into female leadership in the industry has found that many women believe there are still significant barriers to achieving their full potential.

Among the findings, 83 per cent of women aged 35 to 54 said they believe that it is harder for women to succeed in their careers than men. This figure dropped down to 65 per cent among 18 to 34 year olds. 66 per cent of more than 600 people surveyed believe that organisational culture is the main reason why women are underrepresented at senior levels. This was followed by a lack of career development opportunities.

The survey found that only half of large corporates provide external training to their employees – this figure is just 31 per cent in SMEs. A similar number do not help their staff to set career development goals. Not surprisingly for an always-on industry, 44 per cent said they believe that their work-life balance is poor.

The four founders of Women in Wireless, Jen Macrae of Mastercard, Rimma Perelmuter from MEF, Rhian Pamphilon of Accenture and Jen Hiley from Infosys Lodestone set up the organisation a year ago to connect, develop and promote women in wireless and digital. The full results and more thoughts from the founders will be available in the next issue of Mobile Marketing Magazine, which comes out in early June. Read it online for free or order a copy here.

Jennifer Macrae said: “The survey results are a call to action for the industry at large to raise awareness of gender diversity issues here and help develop programmes that really address the issues that women are facing in the rapidly evolving wireless and digital media industries today.”

“At the same time,” Rimma Perelmuter added, “the data highlights that women in our industry would benefit from more proactively undertaking the right combination of personal initiatives to achieve a fulfilling career. To this end, WiW UK will be calling upon the results to develop tailored programmes on issues such as leadership, personal effectiveness and career planning in collaboration with industry.”

At the launch event hosted by Telefónica Digital, who also helped to analyse the results, Macrae outlined future plans for a industy-wide think tank to look into the issues raised by the survey. They are also in discussions with a number of organisations looking to set up a marketplace for mentors.

The Mayor of London’s head of corporate diversity strategy, Shahid Bashir, spoke on the panel about his role convincing big companies of the business case for increasing diversity. He said: “The hot topic is women on boards. If you want to change the culture you need senior-level leadership and commitment from the top. The workplace mimick the behaviour of their leaders.”

Women in Wireless is a volunteer led organisation supported by women working in companies including Mobile Entertainment Forum, Accenture, Mastercard and Telefónica.