Randstad US Survey Reiterates Need for Top-down Commitment to Gender Equality and Inclusion in Today's Workplace
Thursday, March 8th, 2018
Randstad US announced the results of a recent survey on the perceptions and experiences of women and men as they relate to gender equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace. According to the data, a majority of employees (78%) say a workplace where people are treated equally — regardless of gender, sexual orientation, age, race or religion — is important to them. However, more than half of companies are not meeting this expectation, as 56 percent of female workers and 52 percent of male workers believe their employers could do more to promote gender equality and diversity.
"The gap between how women and men are represented and treated in the workplace is substantial right now, but what many employers do not realize is the underlying factors — like the rise of automation — will only widen the divide. In fact, there is a misconception that women will not be impacted by technology as much as men, but that's simply not true," said Audra Jenkins, chief diversity and inclusion officer, Randstad North America. "In addition to the myriad factors impacting gender inequality, 57 percent of jobs currently filled by women will be at risk from technology between now and 2026, according to the World Economic Forum."
Gender inequality a deal breaker for many women.
From a lack of leadership opportunities to lagging education and mentorship programs to disparities in pay, failure to address inequality issues will drive many women to leave a company.
The vast majority (80%) of women agree they would switch employers if they felt another company had greater gender equality.
A third of women (31%) feel they have as many or more opportunities than men at their current companies.
Over half of the women surveyed (58%) said a lack of promotion to leadership roles was a top reason for gender inequality in the workplace, compared to 34 percent of men.
The majority of companies do not appear to be implementing mentorship or leadership programs geared toward women, as 28 percent of respondents said their employers offer such training.
Employers must provide greater salary transparency.
The pay gap remains a major contributor to gender inequality, and fair compensation will be critical for retaining female employees.
Nearly a quarter of female workers (23%) disagree with the statement: "I believe I am paid fairly, compared to my counterparts."
Two in five employees surveyed (40%) have discussed salary with a coworker before, and nearly half of female workers (49%) would leave a job if they learned a male counterpart was making 25 percent more.
The road to an inclusive workplace is long.
Despite greater awareness of gender issues, there is still progress to be made by employers before the playing field is leveled.
Slightly more than half (54%) of employees strongly or completely agree that their companies have a good representation of female leaders.
Fifty-three percent of employees believe unequal pay is the top factor impacting gender inequality, while 49 percent attribute outdated biases and stereotypes as the second-leading factor.
Just over half (57%) of employees feel confident expressing opinions during meetings, leaving over 40 percent of workers lacking confidence to speak their mind.
"Change doesn't happen overnight. In order to move the needle in a meaningful way, it is the utmost responsibility of corporate leaders to invest in programs that will help retool and empower women for future success," said Jenkins. "For companies that fail to establish an inclusive workplace, attracting and retaining quality talent will be a major challenge in the years ahead."