The Enquiry's Findings and the Future
Most of the findings of this report are neither new nor special to Britain. They confirm that the same problems and tendencies exist in Britain as in other industrialized and urbanized countries in Eastern and Western Europe, and from Israel to North America. What the report sets out to do is to knit together a number of strands of thought and factual research so as to increase understanding of the social and psychological processes underlying these tendencies, and in this way to lay a more solid foundation of fact for future policies. As was said in the Foreword and Chapter I, there has been a double shift of accent as the enquiry has proceeded. Originally the subject was women's access to and prospects in jobs that are 'top' in the sense of being at the peak of a managerial or professional hierarchy. Increasingly, it has come to be their prospects in the much greater number of jobs at senior but not necessarily 'top' levels. At first the question of access to senior or top jobs was taken up as a problem of and for women. But here too the accent has shifted from women alone to men and women together and the whole complex of problems around the relationship between family and work. What modifications are needed in this complex in recognition of the fact of highly-qualified women's interest in careers, and how can these modifications best be achieved through the efforts of men and women together and in the interests of both?
A first general finding is that workable patterns can be found for giving access to senior and top jobs not only to single women but to married women with children and a normal family life. There is nothing to be gained from pressuring able women who are mothers of families into pursuing in addition a career aimed at high levels