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Another 21 Years to Achieve Gender Parity in the Workplace? Millennials Think

December 15, 2015

New ManpowerGroup report reveals practical solutions for accelerating women into leadership. (PRNewsFoto/ManpowerGroup)

Millennials say they’ll be the ones to finally level the playing field for women at work – but it will take another 21 years to achieve gender parity in the workplace.

New research from ManpowerGroup reveals 97% of millennials think that their generation will finally achieve equality of opportunity for emerging female leaders. However, the biggest barrier to progress as most male leaders admit is entrenched male culture.

The most optimistic as per the global research by Manpower Expert, were established male leaders, who estimate the playing field will level in the next 14 years, despite the fact that they hold the power and influence at a time when progress is stalling.

According to a new report titled, “Seven Steps to Conscious Inclusion: A Practical Guide to Accelerating More Women into Leadership,” takes a deep-dive into generational, gender and geographical divides on attitudes to achieving gender parity and provides practical solutions to make progress faster. It draws on insights from more than 200 global leaders and identifies structural obstacles that need to be overcome.

The most significant obstacle identified is an entrenched male culture, a barrier that even men acknowledged must change. Three-fifths (59%) of leaders interviewed said they believe the single most powerful thing an organization can do to promote more women leaders is to create a gender-neutral culture, led by the CEO.

See: Gender Pay Gap Explanations

Two-fifths (42%) agreed that flexible working is key to getting more women into leadership. This requires a wholesale rethinking of the workplace, particularly a shift in focus from being present at work in itself to performance.

“It’s proven that the problem will not correct itself – we are stuck in a circular conversation,” said Mara Swan, Manpower Group’s Executive Vice President, Global Strategy and Talent and Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Gender Parity.

“Increasing representation by putting more women in support roles like Communications and HR is just not good enough anymore. That is not shifting the needle. Getting more women into P&L roles will significantly help accelerate the talent and leadership pipeline. That’s why we commissioned this report – to help turn words into action.”

“Getting women into leadership isn’t just an ethical imperative. When half of the talent pool and half of consumers are female, it makes good business sense, to achieve diversity of thought and better decision-making.” said Jonas Prising, CEO, Manpower Group.

“CEOs need to own this. Accountability sits with senior leadership to create and champion a culture of conscious inclusion. Articulating a talent legacy, saying how things will change and by when, helps leaders realize the seriousness of this. True change takes time, focus and discipline.”

Also read: How Can HR Managers Promote Women Leadership in an Organisation?

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