Women in Business survey asks, ‘can we truly have it all?’

Denise Friend, corporate finance partner and founder of Friend Partnership

Denise Friend, founder and head of corporate advisory at Friend Partnership, invites all female readers to take part in a unique piece of research into the challenges faced by women in the workplace.

Since the 1980s, I have been an adviser to many successful entrepreneurs and have seen how the challenges faced by women in the workplace – and those who employ them – have evolved over the years, as well as experiencing them first-hand as the founder of Friend Partnership, a chartered accountant, corporate financier and mother.

The number of women in employment in the UK is continuing to rise, and the pressures on our time become ever greater, and I wonder if women need to be realistic about what they can achieve in our careers and when they can achieve it. We quite possibly can have it all – but perhaps not all at the same time.

Sarah Evans

To examine the experiences of women in business, I have joined forces with former Principal at King Edward VI High School for Girls in Birmingham, Sarah Evans, to launch a survey. Sarah is a regular commentator on how educational experiences and the ethos of individual schools can help to encourage and shape future female leaders and was awarded an OBE for her Services to Education in the 2014 Honours List.

The anonymous survey seeks to understand the challenges faced by women in the workplace and also those faced by businesses looking to employ talented female colleagues. I am keen to hear about the challenges women have faced, the successes they have achieved and the sacrifices they have made along the way.

Click here to take the Women in Business survey

It is vital that we identify the challenges women are currently facing in the workplace as more and more women are choosing to have careers, in addition to balancing a family and many other commitments.

The survey examines the level of flexibility in the workplace, whether the balance is now right – for both employees and employers – and asks what help the government should provide to SMEs.

Friend Partnership works with many successful businesses and we believe it is crucial that hurdles to career progression and business success faced by females are recognised, challenged and broken down – and that ambitious SMEs are given the support they need to be able to attract and retain talented female employees.

We would like to hear about your experiences, so we can report on how the landscape for working women – and the businesses that employ them – has changed over recent generations, and to understand the sentiment of both female employees and female employers in the current climate.

All responses are anonymous unless you choose to share your story. The full report will be published online at www.friendpartnership.com and all participants will receive a preview copy by email if contact details are provided at the end of the survey. All data will be kept safe and not used for anything other than talking to you about this survey.

For each completed response, Friend Partnership will make a donation to Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

To complete the survey, please click here.