Will the Financial Crisis Reinforce the Glass Ceiling?

Last Updated Apr 16, 2009 8:02 AM EDT

The Takeaway: With lay-offs continuing in the hard hit financial sector, both women and men are finding themselves suddenly without work, but will women bounce back from a period of unexpected unemployment with the same dexterity as their male counterparts and when they do will they find themselves back in finance? A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers survey set out to find answers. After asking more than 1,000 City workers for their opinions, the prevailing opinion is clear: 60 percent of respondents believe the crisis will reinforce the glass ceiling. Among the other findings:
  • Nearly three-quarters believe the recession will be an opportunity for women looking to exit corporate life to make a new start.
  • 45 percent believe it will lead to a shift of women into small and medium business and social enterprise careers.
  • Half believe reductions in learning and development budgets now will make it more difficult for women to progress in the long term.
Sarah Churchman, director of diversity, PricewaterhouseCoopers warns that "the by product of the recession could be to stall or reverse the sector's gender diversity progress and investment, short changing the UK economy's recovery by removing or alienating a generation of female talent."

The Question: Will the turmoil in finance make the sector less friendly to female workers in America?

(Image of cracked glass by daviddesign, CC 2.0)

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    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.