Project 28-40 - Listening to Women

We listened to 25,000 people,  the UK's largest survey on women at work and the report is now live ! 
Read and download at  Project 28-40


Initiative of unprecedented scale will survey and act on women’s experiences in the workplace

London, 15 November 2013 - Opportunity Now is launching ‘Project 28-40’ calling for 100,000 women to participate in a ground-breaking study into their experiences at work. The study, launched today, will enable women to tell their stories; to share their experiences of workplace cultures and to give a personal view of how career ambition fits in with their other goals in life.

‘Project 28-40’ will give a unique insight into the career drivers for women on a scale not undertaken before. The study is designed to more accurately pinpoint why women are not achieving their full potential in the workplace during a crucial phase of their careers.

According to industry data, the 28-40 age range is where the gap between female and male career progression widens. The survey will include women who have left the workplace, whether they are planning to return or not, as well as those who are still working. It will enable women to describe what is important to them and explores cultural aspects of their experience, including societal attitudes, as well as practical issues such as maternity leave where appropriate. ‘Project 28-40’ will also target other groups, including older and younger women and men, as this will help to identify specific issues affecting women’s careers.

Helena Morrissey CBE, Chair of Opportunity Now, said: “28-40 is a critical age for career development where at the moment women fail to be promoted at the same rate as men - a problem both for women and companies. This survey, the largest ever undertaken globally, will help us all really understand the reasons behind the current imbalance. We’re asking women to share their experiences candidly and to provide their own perspectives about harder-to-measure aspects such as culture and attitudes, so better initiatives can be developed for everyone’s benefit.”

The survey, hosted by PwC, explores the meaning of success, as well as the importance of specific areas of career development and support, the value of role models in the workplace, and why women decide to leave work or develop alternative career paths.

Kathryn Nawrockyi, Director of Opportunity Now, added: “This pioneering study will help us understand the nature of female ambition and give greater clarity around why and how women leave the workforce. We are encouraging as many women as possible to complete this survey in order to draw a complete picture of life at work for women today and areas they would like to see improved.”

Following the survey the data will be used to help create new initiatives that can help employers improve the gender balance at all levels in their organisations.

Gaenor Bagley, executive board member and head of people at PwC, added: “We are partnering with Opportunity Now on this landmark project because we recognise the urgent need to better understand the barriers holding women back from progressing in their careers. This is about getting to the root of the problem and coming up with some actions that will make a difference. I believe this will have a positive impact for women, business and the economy alike.”

The survey is available at and will run until Sunday 15 December. In the first quarter of 2014, Opportunity Now will hold focus groups to explore themes that emerge from the research. The initial findings of the report will be launched during Business in the Community’s Responsible Business Week (31 March – 4 April 2014).


Follow us on Twitter @OpportunityNow1 #project2840.




Media contact information:

BNY Mellon:

Jamie Brookes, Managing Director, International Head of Marketing & Corporate Affairs: 020 7163 2146 |

Opportunity Now:

Laura Cooney, Communications Officer: 020 7566 8653 |

Rachael Saunders, Head of Communications: 020 7566 8724 | 07715 612758 |


Notes to Editors:


About Opportunity Now: Opportunity Now work to increase women’s success at work, because it benefits business and society.  It works with its membership of employers, from the private, public and education sectors to offer tailored, practical and pragmatic advice on workplace issues. Opportunity Now is the women at work campaign from Business in the Community, a charity which stands for responsible business. See:

About Business in the Community

Business in the Community stands for responsible business. With a membership of over 850 companies, engagement in 10,700 organisations internationally and an employee reach of 14.7 million, Business in the Community is raising the benchmark for responsible business practice. We offer our members practical support to help them transform their businesses and integrate responsible practices into their operations.  And we ask our members to work in partnership with us to help transform communities and tackle serious social issues where business can make a real difference.  Business in the Community is one of the Prince’s Charities, a group of not-for-profit organisations of which The Prince of Wales is President.