A majority of employees (78 percent) say that it is important to be in an inclusive workplace where people are treated equally regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, age, race or religion, according to recent study findings released by Randstad US.
However, more than half companies fail to meet this expectation, as only less than half of male (47 percent) and female (45 percent) employees consider their workplace to be a diversity employer of choice. As much as 52 percent male workers and 56 percent female workers believe their current employers could do better to promote gender equality and diversity at work.
The survey findings point out that gender equality at the workplace can be a deal breaker for women. The vast majority (80 percent) of women agree they would leave jobs if they felt another company provided greater gender equality. About one in three women (31 percent) feel that they have as many or more opportunities than men at their current companies.
Meanwhile, more than half female workers participated (58 percent) say that a lack of promotion to leadership roles was a top reason for gender inequality in the workplace, compared to 34 percent of men. Additionally, the survey revealed that majority employers seem to be not implementing mentorship or leadership programs that focuses on women, as only 28 percent respondents said their employers have offered such training.
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Besides gender equality, respondents also see the need for greater salary transparency, as fair compensation is crucial to retain female employees. The survey found that only nearly a quarter of female workers (23 percent) believe that they have been paid fairly compared to their counterparts. Two in five employees surveyed (40 percent) have discussed salary with a coworker before, and nearly half of female workers (49 percent) would leave a job if they learned a male counterpart was making 25 percent more.
Despite greater awareness of gender issues, there is still progress to be made by employers before the playing field is leveled, said the survey. For example, slightly more than half (54 percent) employees strongly or completely agree that their companies already have a good representation of female leaders.
On the other hand, 53 percent workers believe that unequal pay is the top factor that leads to gender inequality, while 49 percent attribute outdated biases and stereotypes as the second-leading factor. When it comes to facing the gender barriers, just over half (57 percent) employees feel confident expressing opinions during meetings, leaving over 40 percent of workers lacking confidence to speak their mind.
Chief diversity and inclusion officer, Randstad North America, Audra Jenkins stated, “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.”
“For companies that fail to establish an inclusive workplace, attracting and retaining quality talent will be a major challenge in the years ahead,” she added.
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