In the survey of 3,000 managers one in three women claimed that their gender had hindered their career profession, rising to almost half among over 45-year-olds.
Half of female managers are in favour of using quotas to ensure selection is fair ,but only one in four men thinks that’s a good idea.
Men were more confident than women and were more likely to expect to become managers when they started their career, the report said.
The finding comes ahead of Lord Davies’s report on boardroom gender equality, which is expected to be published later this week.
The review is expected to provide recommendations that employers support flexible working, set up mentoring schemes for senior women and bring about culture change through training programmes.
While Lord Davies has already ruled out imposing immediate quotas, he is also expected to set targets for business to achieve within two years, with the threat of quotas if progress is not made.
Penny de Valk, chief executive of the Institute of Leadership & Management, said: “
‘Quotas may be seen as the quickest solution and some countries have introduced them with some success.
‘However, they do not drive a commitment to the more fundamental changes that are required. The imposition of boardroom quotas here would be an admission of failure for leaders.’