A growing number of females in the UK are taking up interim management positions, experts have revealed.
According to InterimWomen, this type of working is seen to offer more of a level playing field than many other professions, as well as considerable flexibility and autonomy.
Diane Morris, director of the group, said: "The top reason for the attraction of the career for women is being their own boss.
"You're in charge and you can work with a range of clients in different industries."
However, she acknowledged that working in interim management does pose a number of challenges. For instance, Ms Morris said the assignments can often be very intense, while professionals may also need to travel a lot and spend time away from home.
As a result, they might find it tough to maintain an adequate work-life balance and meet all of their domestic responsibilities.
Furthermore, Ms Morris noted that male interim managers typically get paid more than their female counterparts. This, she said, is partly because men usually get "highly paid" roles in the financial services industry, while women often opt to work at not-for-profit organisations "where pay is lower".
Ms Morris added that the interim management market is "competitive and tough for both men and women", which means interims need to "network to ensure a healthy pipeline of business".
This comes shortly after she noted that the use of interim managers has evolved a great deal in the last few years. Ms Morris said that businesses often use them to "deliver strategic projects" over a set period of time, whereas they would once have been hired to fill skills gaps within a firm.
In addition, she stated that interim managers are also a good option for companies because they do not have to consider costs such as pensions and holidays.
Ms Morris said they have the added advantage of bringing a new perspective to a firm, as they are independent specialists rather than employees. Therefore, they can stay out of office politics and are in a good position to tell a chief executive what they think is going on within a business.