Companies around the world are prioritizing gender diversity and making efforts to make the men: women ratio, which currently reflects a huge gap, more equitable. It’s been established that gender-diverse businesses perform better than others and Indian companies are taking strides towards making their offices more equal. But it becomes a problem when both sexes view gender diversity differently.
We take a look at this BCG study from November 2017 which explains different views men and women have regarding gender diversity at workplace:
Men Think Of Recruitment As An Obstacle, While Women Think That It’s Promotion
This difference in identifying the main obstacle to gender diversity can be a big problem, which can prevent companies from solving this issue. Men and women both perceive the obstacles to gender diversity differently. While men think that the problem is lower representation of women at the recruitment level, women think it is the gender bias at the promotion level. As per the BCG study, a whopping 36% women feel that advancement and climbing up the managerial ladder is the biggest obstacle to gender diversity. In contrast, only 8% men consider this as a problem.
In this case, statistics support the latter’s point of view. As per a study, despite more than half the workforce comprising of women employees in the US, only 20% account for C-suite. From the 500 companies in the Bombay Stock Exchange, only 3% of the senior position level (CEO) comprises of women. So clearly, low percent of promotion and advancement to the higher positions seems to be the bottleneck when it comes to bringing in gender diversity. But, why are lesser women being promoted and advanced to top positions? Woman employees feel that gender bias and prevalent perception that men are the bread earners of the family is the reason why more men are considered when it comes to promotion.
Men Think That Everyone In Their Office Is Committed To Gender Diversity, Women Aren’t Of The Same Opinion
Sure, workplaces and the human resource department are taking the effort to bring in gender diversity, but the outcomes of these efforts are perceived differently by male and female. While men feel that the entire office if committed towards gender diversity programs, woman are not that optimistic about the efforts put in. As per the BCG report, 81% of men at workplace believe that the entire management is doing their best to reduce the gender gap and believe that the entire management team is committed to this cause, only 56% women share the same opinion. Further, men are also of the opinion that they themselves are actively involved in championing gender diversity while only half the women feel that men are putting efforts for the same.
To know why both the sexes think the way they do, read on!
Men Think Gender Diversity Initiatives Work, Women Don’t
As said earlier, men feel that they are doing enough for gender diversity. That’s because their role is limited to only drafting the initiatives for women, which they are doing. But, the main beneficiaries of these initiatives, the women, are not really benefiting from them. While 60% of woman respondents are of the opinion that sure, companies are doing a lot to improve the gender gap, but only 29% of woman feel the results are delivered. Here’s why?
Due to poor implementation and halfhearted attitude of the companies, these initiatives seldom help bring any difference in the diversity. Sure, companies are investing their time, money and energy for this cause, but the progress is significantly slower and results are short of expectations.
Apart from lack of implementation, there is a difference the kind of initiatives women needs and the ones which men frame. Men leaders tend to underestimate parameters and factors (flexible working hours, part-time working models etc.) which women think are most effective. Thus, these challenges are not reflected in the gender diversity policies and programs. Which in turn results in these policies and interventions turn out to be ineffective for women than being impactful.