The marketing industry’s drive for gender equality in the workplace appears to be falling on deaf ears in the boardroom, according to a new study which shows that while the vast majority (91.9%) of marketers believe it is important more than one in five (26.9%) do not consider their workplace to be diverse.
The findings, which have emerged from a study of 1,100 professionals by CV-Library, were described as “worrying” by CV-Library founder and managing director Lee Biggins.
He added: “Diversity in the workplace has a number of benefits for both employers and their staff and can promote an inclusive and positive workplace.
“It’s good to see that diversity is important to professionals and that they’re thinking about issues such as gender equality when looking for potential employers. Some 61.5% take this into consideration when job hunting. If you’re an employer, it’s in your best interest to make sure that your company embraces diversity, if you hope to attract talented candidates.”
Another area the survey probed was companies’ dress codes, revealing that a third (30.8%) of staff are forced to adhere to gender specific rules at work, including women having to wear skirts or dresses of a certain length and men not being allowed to have long hair.
Bizarrely, the most common gender specific rule in the marketing sector was that men are not allowed to wear shorts (85.7%) – not ideal in the current weather but hardly a defining issue – while many blokes are not even allowed to have long hair (28.6%) and others are made to wear a tie (14.4%).
Meanwhile 14.3% of women are forced to wear skirts or dresses of a certain length and 13.2% of their male colleagues are not allowed to wear jewellery.
Biggins added that while there has been a flood of media stories around equality in the workplace, especially in terms of the gender pay gap, it is important that all forms of sexism are challenged.
He added: “We often hear about women being judged on their appearance at the hiring stage, but our data suggests that male employees are more likely to face these problems in the workplace.
“Employers in the marketing sector should make sure that any rules they enforce are fair and justified. Above all, they need to remember that rules should apply to all employees. Plus, while dress codes are understandable, they should also be flexible.”
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