Fewer than one in five workers believe there is gender equality in their workplace, although nearly as many men feel they are being discriminated against as women, while Millennials reckon they are hardest hit compared to those aged 45 to 54.
So says a new study – The Breaking Bias Research – commissioned by Samsung UK, which surveyed 2,000 UK respondents and found nearly half (44%) of UK workers still see certain jobs as being exclusively male or female, exposing how unconscious bias exists in the workplace.
And, it seems, the marketing industry still has plenty of work to do to move on from the Mad Men era, with four times as many of those surveyed (21%) seeing the role of chief marketing officer as largely for men instead of women (5%).
Meanwhile, a third of Brits have strong associations that the title of chief executive is also for men, with Londoners making up the highest percentage. This is nine times more than those seeing the role for women, on just 3%.
When it comes to skills in the workplace, the survey found men are four times more likely than women to have perceived leadership skills (23% vs 5%). Women are associated with qualities such as empathy (45% vs 4% men), listening (39% vs 6% men) and understanding (33% vs 6% men), suggesting ingrained gender stereotypes around workplace attributes are still prevalent in 2021.
The study also reveals that almost one in five (17%) women have not applied for a job for fear of being discriminated against because of their gender.
Despite this, the research shows progress is being made; over three-fifths (62%) of respondents believe the chief executive role to be gender neutral, and nearly seven in ten (68%) find those who break gender barriers in the workplace “inspiring”.
And, while some roles are still seen as “man’s work”, including engineering, law enforcement and security, building trades and finance, four in five people (80%) view the creative industry as gender neutral.
Samsung UK and Ireland head of inclusion and engagement Charlotte Grant said: “We are moving in the right direction as shown by this research, which is certainly encouraging. But there is still a long way to go to achieve total gender parity in the workplace. Companies have an active role to play in tackling this, creating a culture where conscious inclusion is a part of everyone’s every day and where actively challenging bias becomes the norm.”
The study follows a report conducted by LinkedIn in partnership with educational charity The Female Lead which found that women are conditioned to feel less deserving than men in the workplace due to an “entitlement gap”. It revealed that 44% of females agreed it is true that women feel less entitled to promotions or increased pay in the workplace, while more than a third (35%) had experienced an entitlement gap around career progression or pay increases, or had seen it experienced by others.
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