Interim Management: Is it a Good Employment Choice for Women?

Interim management has long been the career path of choice for ambitious, successful professionals who are experts in their field. Because of the high wages, varied projects, and opportunities to develop new skills, many top executives are looking to this as a way to work into new options.

Interim management is a field dominated by men, since 85% of them are men and in the over 50 crowd, as reported by Executives Online in March 2011. So is there a place for female professionals to take back this market?

Interim management is no different than many other professional careers across the UK, in that there is a gender pay gap. In a six-month report released by Russam GMS in June 2011, the recruitment agency found that an 8% gap in favor of men remained in the rates of pay awarded to professionals at the interim management level.

Average pay for male interim managers is 613, while average female pay for interim managers is 567 per day, which is down from the 11% gap reported in December 2010.

But this does not necessarily indicate that unequal pay is pervasive throughout the field of interim management. Chairman of Russam GMS, Charles Russam, speculates that the discrepancy is influenced by the average rates of pay in the different sectors male and female interim managers are traditionally attracted to.

When looking at the contracting sector, a pay discrepancy of only 3 was found when comparing men and women working as interim managers, as reported by Executives Online in March 2011. To be sure, it is best to have no pay discrepancy at all; nevertheless, myriad other UK industries have far more significant gaps.

So if rate of pay doesn’t necessarily have to represent a barrier to female interim management, the question remains as to whether or not it is right for women?

1600 females working as interim managers were recently surveyed by Interim Women, a business forum, to determine the profile and motivations of women working in the field of interim management.

The survey found that the average female interim manager had 22 years’ experience in business and came from a top executive level position. The drive to move towards becoming an interim manager was found in a desire to control their own destinies, improve work/life balance, develop and improve business skills and flexibility.

However, the women’s group warns, a certain level of financial instability must factor into anyone becoming an interim manager, male or female. It often takes a great deal of networking and professional connections to win contracts, and this can take a long time.

As a historically male dominant industry, interim management does still have a pay gap based on gender. However, the role has been found to be equally suited to ambitious, determined and creative female professionals who are seeking to develop their careers, their skills and their opportunities for the future.

Outcomes UK provide highly qualified and experienced interim managers to work within the social care sector across the UK. For further information about their services and to make an enquiry, visit http://www.outcomesuk.com/.

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