Two thirds of women say workplace ‘behind’ with gender equality
[subhed] 63% of women feel unsupported at work
Research by Thoughtworks, a global technology consultancy, has found that around two thirds of women in the UK believe there is still a long way to go when it comes to a range of gender equality issues, from career prospects and personal development to parental support.
The research included a sample of over 1,000 women and asked how they rated the organisation they worked for on a variety of inclusion issues. It found that around two thirds of women believed their organisations were behind the industry when it came to equal pay and equitable opportunity (63%), representation (64%), and career development (64%).
Additionally, a significant proportion of survey women believed their organisation either did not have a plan or didn’t know where to start to address issues of equal pay (30%), representation (26%) or career development (32%).
Less than half of the women surveyed (39%) could point to initiatives put in place by their company to address gender inequality, and only one in seven said their organisation had programmes to mentor women employees, while almost a quarter said their organisations provided inclusion training.
The survey revealed that 63% of women felt there was more work that could be done when it came to supporting working parents, with 29% believing their organisation either did not have a plan to resolve this issue or did not know where to start. Just one in six (18%) said their organisation has an official return to work programme.
More broadly, asking a sample of men, women and underrepresented gender minorities (UGM), the research found the vast majority of organizations (89%) agreed that there were business benefits from championing gender equality issues. Almost a third (29%) could see that it would foster better employee relationships, with the same proportion believing it would increase staff retention.
Amy Lynch, Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) at Thoughtworks UK, commented: “International Women’s Day is a key event to shine a spotlight on important areas. There have been some seismic shifts in just a couple of generations, however our results serve as a reminder that the finishing line is still some way off. We have to be candid that some challenges remain, but we can change this with positive action, effective policies and dedication all year round.
“For the tech sector, this is particularly important. There is a wealth of talent out there that does not fit a preconceived ‘mold’ and importantly could offer a sector which relies on innovation and different ways of thinking, a fresh perspective. A culture of inclusion and equity is an essential factor in the quest to attract and retain the best talent. It is the responsibility of leaders within the sector to create paths to give communities that feel technology is not for them the confidence to apply for jobs.”