Despite prevailing assumptions that managerial roles are populated almost exclusively by men, a new study suggests that this demographic is starting to change significantly. Research by Interim Partners reveals that 39 per cent of interim managers who were placed in new positions during the third quarter of last year were women, a proportion of whom would have been contractors working for umbrella companies.

The figure represents an 11 per cent increase in the number of women entering managerial roles in the space of two years.

Commenting on the study, Interim Partners Managing Director, Doug Baird said that more women are becoming attracted to interim managerial roles, not least because they provide an alternative pathway to the “very highest rungs of the corporate ladder.” The interim role seems to be evaluated differently by companies, with people being judged on their results rather than their ability to play office politics, which Mr Baird believes is attractive to many women.

The Interim Partners report confirms the findings of an earlier study from December 2010, the Interim Management Associations Ipsos MORI market audit. This also clearly indicated that the number of women in interim managerial positions was growing strongly, rising from 29 per cent in the second quarter of 2010 to 39 per cent in the third quarter.

Findings like this will please organisations such as the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), which have campaigned for greater diversity in the workplace, especially in managerial roles. As the recruitment of permanent staff may well be under pressure during 2011, it is possible that more women will consider contracting via a PAYE umbrella service as an alternative.

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