86% of professionals would challenge gender inequality in the workplace

86% of professionals would challenge gender inequality in the workplace

A survey by recruiting experts Hays has revealed that 86% of respondents would challenge gender inequality within the workplace if they were to witness it.
 
The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #ChoosetoChallenge, which asks people to call out and challenge inequality. Hays surveyed nearly 900 people globally to find out whether professionals would challenge gender inequality within the workplace if they were to witness it.
 
Overwhelmingly, 86% of respondents said they would challenge gender inequality in some way if they were to witness or identify it in the workplace. From those surveyed, 37% said they would approach management or HR and make them aware. A further 34% said they would challenge it directly, and 15% said they would approach management or HR and make them aware as long as they could remain anonymous.
 
However, 14% said they would not challenge gender inequality for varying reasons. Overall, 6% said they wouldn’t do anything as they think the issue would not be addressed, 5% said it’s not their responsibility to challenge it and 3% stated they wouldn’t do anything as they didn’t think they could remain anonymous.
 
When looking at the responses by gender, women were more likely to say they would approach management or HR with 41% saying they would versus 38% of men. Whereas men were more likely to say they would address it directly, with 37% of men saying they would which compares to 31% of women. However, men were also more likely to say they wouldn’t challenge gender inequality, with 6% saying they would choose not to as it is not their responsibility, which compared to just 2% of women.
 
Sandra Henke, Hays Group Head of People and Culture, commented on the results; “It is pleasing to see that the vast majority of respondents would challenge gender inequality within the workplace, everybody has an important part to play in challenging inequality. However, at the same time it is concerning that just over one in ten people would choose not to challenge it.”
 
Sandra continued, “When examining the results of the survey and the reasons behind why people would choose not challenge inequality, we can determine what organisations should prioritise when it comes to educating their employees in an effort to tackle gender inequality. Many organisations are likely already taking these steps, but the approach needs to be consistent to ensure the message is received and understood.”
 
Sandra offered this advice for organisations to encourage and help their employees to challenge inequality.
  • Reassure employees: “The results of our survey have highlighted the fact that some employees don’t feel as though reporting an issue would be acted upon. By reassuring employees that their views do matter and that by sharing them and reporting any issues, they can bring about positive change.”
  • Educate: “A small number of employees have said that they would not report any inequality because it is not their responsibility to do so. This shows there is an opportunity for organisations to educate their workers as to why it is everybody’s responsibility, not just those perceived to be impacted by inequality.”
  • Create a safe environment:  “And finally, our survey also found that some workers were reluctant to report any issues because they thought it wasn’t possible to do so anonymously. Creating channels and processes that allow employees to raise these issues confidentially will build a culture in which people feel safe to share their thoughts and feelings is extremely important.”
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