More women rise to corporate peaks

More and more women are taking senior-level positions in Russian business - according to a survey by PWC and the Russian Managers Association in the run up to International Women’s Day.

Ekaterina Shapochka has been head of marketing department in a large corporation for seven years. Her unit consists of more than 50 people. Ekaterina says it is a challenge for a woman to be a success in a business world still dominated by men.

“Women usually work longer in companies, so they’re more loyal, but they stay at the same position for a longer time, which means they probably are not promoted as easily as men are. Women just have more responsibilities we need to do much more effort to be successful.”

According to a survey by PWC and the Russian Managers Association, women now make up a large proportion – more than 90% – of chief accountants, 70% of HR senior managers and almost half of chief financial officers, while there still few women among general directors, chairmen of the board, presidents and operations directors.

The last three years have seen an increase in the number of women occupying senior-level positions. Sergey Litovchenko, Executive Director, at the Russian Managers Association says trends vary between industries.

“Women play a dominant role in the service sector, consumer and food industries, as well as in small business, which gives women more opportunities to manage their time. There are also more women working at state institutions.”

The financial crisis has also had its impact – job and salary cuts affected more women than men according to Ekaterina Shapochka.

“We do try to optimise resources, which means we need to do the same amount of work with less resources.”

On the other hand the crisis presents a chance for leaders to take responsibility and develop their future careers – and responsibility is something women can't escape.