Glass ceilings are gone, says M&S chief

Women have never had it so good at work, says Stuart Rose

Women have achieved equality at work and have “never had it so good”, according to the chairman of M&S, Sir Stuart Rose.

In an interview with the Observer, Rose said that the glass ceiling no longer existed. “Women can get to the top of any single job that they want to in the UK,” he said. “…Women astronauts. Women miners. Women dentists. Women doctors. Women managing directors. What is it you haven’t got?”

Rose also said that women with children could achieve whatever they wanted to. He pointed to Kate Bostock, head of Marks and Spencer‘s merchandising operation and tipped to take over from Rose when he steps down in 2011, who has two sons.

“Girls today have never had it so good, right?” said Rose. “Apart from the fact that you’ve got more equality than you ever can deal with, the fact of the matter is that you’ve got real democracy and there really are no glass ceilings, despite the fact that some of you moan about it all the time.”

Others disagree that inequality is over. The Fawcett Society, which campaigns for gender equality, points out that just 9 per cent of directors of the UK’s top 100 companies are women. The charity blames lack of flexibility at the top levels of organisations to accommodate the needs of working mothers, and a propensity of male directors to recruit “in their own image – white males”.

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