Page last updated at 02:42 GMT, Sunday, 31 May 2009 03:42 UK

Women have it good, says M&S boss

Sir Stuart Rose
Sir Stuart is set to stand down from the post in 2011

Women have "never had it so good" in the workplace, Marks and Spencer chairman Sir Stuart Rose has said.

He said so-called "glass ceilings" barring promotion in the workplace no longer exist.

"Women can get to the top of any single job that they want to in the UK," he told the Observer newspaper.

Sir Stuart also rejected the suggestion that having children can damage the careers of working mothers, saying he knows many who are successful.

He said: "Apart from the fact that you've got more equality than you ever can deal with, the fact of the matter is that you've got real democracy and there are really no glass ceilings, despite the fact that some of you moan about it all the time.

"Women can get to the top of any single job that they want to in the UK. You've got a woman fighter pilot who went in to join the Red Arrows yesterday."

Senior positions

He told the newspaper: "I mean, what else do you want to do, for God's sake? Women astronauts. Women miners. Women dentists. Women doctors. Women managing directors. What is it you haven't got?"

Kate Bostock has got two or three kids and she's running the full-time biggest buying job in the UK, so it can be done
Sir Stuart Rose

Sir Stuart has promoted women to senior positions within the company he leads, with mother-of-two Kate Bostock appointed to the M&S board in March 2008.

He rejected the suggestion that working mothers face greater challenges in the workplace.

"Well, childbirth is a biological fact. Women have children; I can't help that," he said.

"But I know lots of women who've got two or three kids - Nicola Horlick is a good example - there are many girls in here who've got two kids who come to work."

He added: "Kate Bostock has got two or three kids and she's running the full-time biggest buying job in the UK, so it can be done."



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