What is really going on in the workplace?
Sheryl Sandberg wrote in the Times in 2016 about ‘an entire segment of the population that is vastly underrepresented in the small business economy”. At the time she was writing some recent research estimated that 2.7 million women in the UK were thinking of starting a business. Phew! That’s a lot. But….most of them don’t get going and the main thing stopping them is a lack of confidence.
The CMI Women campaign which surveyed 851 managers found that 50% of managers had observed gender bias in recruitment/promotion decisions, 42% had observed inequality in pay and awards and 69% had seen women having a hard time in board meetings.
So what to do?
It isn’t just women that need to initiate change, men need to be involved as well and have an equally important role to play in promoting gender equality, to initiate and drive change. The CMI survey demonstrated that 84% of men wanted an equal balanced workplace and that 75% of them agreed that they needed to play a part and take responsibility for supporting women to progress in the workplace. The next stage in the CMI research ‘Men as Role Models’ is working on this positive approach by doing what it says on the tin, finding men to be role models and champion women.
And remember – gender equality works both ways
And an interesting case in the USA in 2015 had Gregory Anderson, an erstwhile Yahoo employee accusing the company, of discriminating in favour or women saying they “intentionally hired and promoted women because of their gender, while terminating, demoting or laying off male employees because of their gender”. (That despite the fact that at the time 75% of Yahoo’s leaders were men.)
We invite you to read the second part of Women at the Top Leadership Research – 2; more fascinating insights on Women at the Top’s reflections on leadership by Halina Jaroszewska.
Halina’s research is an ongoing project and a valuable contribution to this dynamic subject; if you feel you have something to contribute or you know of a woman who does, please get in touch with Halina.