Guess who's feeling the credit crunch squeeze?

Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:31am EST
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By Jane Merriman

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Programs in the corporate world designed to address the gender imbalance at the top of big companies are being cut as a result of the credit crunch crisis.

And guess who's going to come off worse?

Will it be the scores of rich, white, male top bank executives who have been pilloried in the press as the scapegoats for the global recession? Not really.

British research shows women's jobs in general will be hit harder this time than previous recessions.

The female redundancy rate has risen by 2.3 percentage points since the start of 2008, almost double the rate of the increase for men of 1.2 percentage points, according to research by Britain's Trades Union Congress (TUC).

This is partly because more women work now than in earlier economic downturns, and also because lots of women work in Britain's vast service sector.

"Jobs in this recession will be lost across the economy rather than concentrated in male dominated sectors such as manufacturing, as in previous downturns," the TUC said.

And hopes of smashing the glass ceiling for many women could also be dashed as companies axe budgets for executive coaching and diversity training which can help women grab top roles.   Continued...