The ‘Glass Ceiling’ occurs because women themselves often chose relatively low paid careers as these roles often offer more flexibility when they have or chose to start a family. Women tend to stereo type themselves and this along with the long hours often expected by senior managers can make it difficult for women to combine a management role with other responsibilities associated with bringing up children and running a home.

In 2004 women accounted for 11% of Director level positions in British businesses and 21% of senior positions in the public and voluntary sector.

Only 1% more women were occupying senior positions in business than a year ago. (Source Equal Opportunities Commission annual report ‘Sex & Power: who runs Britain).

Smashing the ‘Glass Ceiling’ and rising to the top in the cleaning, Janitorial or any other industry is about a combination of re-thinking the balance between work life & home and the attitude of the employer.

With two children to bring up and a business to run the challenges were many but I feel a ‘can do attitude’ prevented the ‘Glass Ceiling’ effect impacting on my career and the success of my business.

Unlike Europe where the opposite is true, the long hour culture in the UK doesn’t help. Women who talk about ‘flexible or family friendly hours are often seen as uncommitted to the company this again can hamper their progress.

In my opinion go for it, women bring good communication skills, multi-tasking and compassion into the workplace. Get the knowledge and help you need to get to the top. With the right attitude anyone can smash through the ‘Glass ceiling’.

Comment – Mandie Kemp, Managing Director Futures Supplies & Support Services Ltd


At the recent HRH The Prince of Wales’s ‘Seeing is Believing’ event held in Croydon, Danielle Sinclair from Futures Supplies spoke to a number of top business people on how her recent work experience has her helped her gain confidence in the workplace.

In support of the Croydon Commitment, an initiative formed and funded by local businesses, the delegates at the HRH The Prince of Wales’s ‘Seeing is Believing Visit’ heard how Danielle has been on a work placement at South London company, Futures Supplies & Support Services Ltd. 

Danielle, who is only 17, told blue chip companies such as Microsoft, BT and EDF Energy how Futures Supplies, who are trade suppliers of Washroom, Janitorial and Cleaning products have been very supportive in her role.  Danielle explained to them how in her twelve-week placement she has been trained on the telephone, computers along with numerous other office related tasks.

Mandie Kemp, Managing Director of Futures Supplies, said, “We look to provide work placements for up to 12 weeks in the hope to provide an opportunity for the young people to experience life in the work place and give them a work history whilst overcoming their barriers. It gives young people a chance in life that they might otherwise not have”.

Danielle Sinclair said, “Although I was very nervous to speak, Futures Supplies have given me a chance to experience life in an office and I knew that if I spoke out it would benefit other care leavers and give support to The Croydon Commitment project for the future”.