Workplace gender gaps remain: Could de-gendering gender diversity be the solution?

It’s International Women’s Day today and while there’s a lot to celebrate, results from a recent survey show workplace gender gaps remain in career progression, pay and flexible working options.

The survey, by recruiting experts Hays, also suggests that de-gendering gender diversity by offering and accepting equal parental leave and flexible working options without career consequences for women and men could improve female representation in the workplace: 81% of respondents said shared parental leave and child rearing responsibility would help break down unconscious biases and improve gender diversity.

Yet just 19% said their organisation offers parental leave for male employees on equal terms to female employees.  In addition, the majority say men in their organisation rarely take (27%) or only take some (46%) of the parental leave they’re entitled to.

Why? 61% of men said it’s due to the financial impact whereas 42% of women said it’s because they may be viewed as less committed to their career.

Other findings include:

Career progression

  • 93% of women and 63% of men think women encounter barriers in their career progression,
  • 35% of men and 14% of women think that equal career opportunities are open to them regardless of gender,
  • 23% of female respondents said their last promotion was more than five years ago compared to 17% of male respondents,
  • 80% of respondents said the most senior person in their organisation was male,
  • 61% said their manager was male,
  • 38% said their working team is mostly female, 34% said mostly men and 28% had a balanced team,
  • 65% of men compared to 47% of women believe they have the opportunity in their current role to sufficiently promote themselves and communicate ambitions,
  • 38% of women compared to 22% of men are not confident that their line manager knows what their ambitions are,
  • 28% of females are dissatisfied with their current seniority level, compared to 11% of males, and
  • 58% of those dissatisfied females said it was because they are limited in opportunities to progress by their current employer.

Pay and rewards

  • 58% of men and 19% of women think they are paid in an equal manner regardless of gender, and
  • 86% of female respondents compared to 48% of men thought women encounter barriers outside of their control in regards to getting paid in an equal manner to men.

Flexible working options

  • 51% of all respondents said flexible working options were available to them in their current organisation,
  • 44% believe that, to some degree, flexible working options have improved the representation of women in executive and leadership roles,
  • 96% of female respondents thought it was important that agile and flexible working options are available to them in their organisation, compared to 86% of men,
  • more than 80% believe shared parental leave and child rearing responsibility would break down unconscious biases and improve gender diversity,
  • just 19% said their organisation offers parental leave for male employees on equal terms to female employees,
  • the majority said men in their organisation rarely take (27%) or take only some (46%) of their entitled parental leave, and
  • 61% of men said this is due to financial impact whereas 42% of women said it’s because they may be viewed as less committed to their career.

Hays surveyed 842 Australians, of whom 52% were female and 48% were male.

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