In 2002, 38% of senior manager positions in the FTSE 350 were taken by women, but the figure now stands at 22%.
The growing cost of childcare has been cited as a reason, although there is evidence that more women are setting up their own businesses.
Sarah Churchman, head of diversity at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said: ‘For big companies at least, this pipeline is shrinking at a worrying rate. Smart companies will monitor workforce trends in this, and other, areas. It makes business sense to ensure talented people have opportunities to continue their careers as their circumstances and needs change throughout their working lives.’
The research shows Central London has the highest proportion of females in senior roles (7%) with Bristol having the lowest number at 2%.