ONS reveals women make up a third of UK managers


  • Author: Statistics Views and Jamie Jenkins
  • Date: 25 September 2013
  • Copyright: Image appears courtesy of iStockPhoto

The Office for National Statistics has revealed that the proportion of women among the UK’s managers was 34.8% in October-December 2012, which is slightly higher than the European Union average of 33.5%. The percentage of managers that were women was slightly lower than the UK figure in the larger economies of Spain (31%), Germany (29%), and Italy (24%) but it was greater in France (39%). Across the European Union as a whole, women were most prominent within the managerial occupation group in Latvia (45%) and Lithuania (41%). The country where women were least prominent as managers was Cyprus (16%).

thumbnail image: ONS reveals women make up a third of UK managers

Men are more likely to be employed in higher skilled jobs than women. In April-June 2013, there was a similar percentage of men and women working in the lowest skill category, consisting of the elementary occupations. The main differences between men and women were in the two middle skilled groups of upper middle (associate professional and technical occupations and skilled trade occupations) and lower middle (admin/secretarial occupations, caring/leisure occupations and sales/customer service occupations). In 2013, 37% of men were employed in the upper middle skilled roles compared with 18% of women and conversely 46% of women were employed in lower middle skilled roles compared with 24% of men.

Overall in April-June 2013, around 13.4 million women aged 16 to 64 were in work, 42% of them part-time, compared with 15.3 million men (12% part-time). Full-time men worked on average 44 hours per week while full-time women worked 40 hours per week. While there have been increases in the number of women in work, the percentage of them doing a part-time role has remained fairly steady over the past 30 years.

The rise in women in employment is partly due to an increase in the percentage of mothers in work. In 1996, 67% of married or cohabiting mothers with dependent children were in work, and by 2013 this had increased to 72%. Lone mothers’ employment rate rose from 43% to 60% over the same period. As more women have entered employment there has been a fall in inactivity – those who are either not looking or available for work or not available to work, for example looking after the family.

Birmingham had the lowest employment rate for women across the UK, with just over half (50%) of women aged 16 to 64 were in work. The next lowest employment rates were in Nottingham (54%), Coventry (55%) and Leicester (55%). Some areas have low employment rates for women partly because of the universities within them, and when looking only at women aged 25 to 64 to avoid this effect, Nottingham and Coventry were no longer towards the bottom.

The ONS has released a video detailing their findings

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