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More women than ever in employment, says report


The number of women in employment in the UK is higher than ever, with 14.1 million female employees working in 2014, according to the latest Women's Business Council report.

It is an increase of 292,000 from 2013 and represents 67.7% of adult women in the UK, a proportional increase of 1% in a year. 

The number of female graduates is also higher than ever before, with 449,000 women graduating in 2014. This is an increase of about 3,000 from the previous year. The figure includes 160,000 female STEM graduates, up 4,000 on the 2013 number. 

Despite the encouraging results, the Maximising women's contribution to future economic growth: One year on report also shows that there are still 2.3 million women who want to work but cannot find employment. This is a slight decrease from 2.4 million in 2013. 

Ruby McGregor-Smith, chair of the Women’s Business Council, said she was pleased that women are "making progress". She also heralded the council's work with figures from across the business community. 

"We have heard from a range of business leaders who, like us, believe in the compelling business case for helping women into work," she said. "And also many of the women themselves who we seek to support in this endeavour."

Heather Jackson, CEO of professional women's group An Inspirational Journey, told HR magazine that even though the results are encouraging, business must be wary of ignoring the "middle pipeline of female talent" between graduates and board members. 

"The work that has been done to get women into the boardroom is fantastic," she said. "But there are a whole group of women who are in the middle of their careers that need support if we're to continue the good work and make sure that the numbers stay strong."