The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has countered criticism of its recent report on businesswomen.
The report - which suggests top-jobs are only given to women by businesses in times of crisis - has come under fire from the executive recruitment agency Hitchenor Wakeford for being "patronising", while the CIPD itself was considered "misguided".
Diversity advisor for the CIPD, Dianah Worman, responded by saying: "The new CIPD report … is not intended to be patronising, nor is it an 'interpretation', it is simply reporting the facts as they stand and the perceptions of the senior people interviewed."
Ms Worman went on to say that the report was intended to publicise the fact that there are far more businessmen than there are businesswoman on the boards of UK companies.
However, Danny Hodgson, managing director of Hitchenor Wakeford believes that "most women and businesses will find the interpretation of this research as patronising".
"Business leaders and recruiters are more pragmatic than the CIPD gives them credit for. In my experience they appoint the person who will give them the best commercial advantage irrespective of whether they are male or female.
"The CIPD is also misguided if it thinks that good mangers only want to work in a well-oiled machine," he added.