Only FTSE 100 female chair calls for career breaks to help female career progression

The only female chair of a FTSE 100 company has asked for employers to allow women to take career breaks of up to six years so that they can better balance the demands of work and family life.

Speaking to the FT, Dame Alison Carnwath of property group Land Securities said that companies would reap the business benefits of retaining women and maintaining a “continuity of culture”.

She added that financial companies were poor at promoting women. Since she has been at Land Securities the number of women on the board, executive committee and the layer below has risen to a third. Dame Alison also acts as a mentor for business leaders across Europe.

Currently there are just four women chief executives of FTSE 100 companies and SUsan Kilsby will raise the number of female chairs to two when she becomes chair of pharmaceuticals group Shire in April.

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