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The gender diversity divide: “I don’t see what the problem is” say the men

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Women are less likely than their male co-workers to believe that pay equality and equal opportunities exist for both genders in the workplace, according to the new Hays global survey on gender diversity.

At Hays, we are known for supporting the advancement of women in the workplace. However, our survey found that although progress is being made, gender diversity remains a business critical issue.

In the survey of almost 6,000 people, that was released for International Women’s Day on Sunday 8th March, 18 per cent of men think that equally capable male and female workers are not paid or rewarded equally, compared to 45 per cent of women. The survey also found that almost one in two women (48 per cent) compared to one in five men (21 per cent) say that the same career opportunities are not open to equally capable colleagues of both genders.

‘Make It Happen’ is the International Women’s Day 2015 theme, which calls for greater gender equality. So what did people think would improve gender diversity in our survey?

Almost one in two (44 per cent) of the survey respondents say that more flexible working practices would have the biggest impact on improving gender diversity in their workplace. This was equal to changes to workplace culture through education across the business (44 per cent), highlighting female role models (32 per cent), changes to organisational policy (32 per cent), changes to government policy (27 per cent) and better board backing for diversity issues (26 per cent).

Just 9 per cent of respondents said implementing quotas would have a big impact, showing the vast majority believe that cultural change and practical measures, rather than formal quotas, are the answer.

It seems remarkable in this day and age, given all the research espousing the benefits of a gender diverse workforce, that women are not equally represented in leadership positions, supported and encouraged to reach their career goals, and paid equally.

If those in charge don’t think there’s a gender imbalance in the pay or opportunities open to both sexes, it might take the leadership of the next generation to action real change and close the differential between men and women – both in perception and reality.

Hays surveyed 5,949 people across 31 countries during December 2014 and January 2015.

Jim Roy regional director 5th Floor, 54 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra T 02 6112 7663 | F 02 6257 6377 E[email protected]
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