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How men’s perception of gender equality differs from women’s reality

Explore the disparities between men’s perception and women’s reality regarding gender equality in the workplace. Despite 93% of women feeling confident at work, issues like gender-based pay gaps and promotion discrepancies persist. Discover the findings from HiBob’s annual Women in the Workplace report, shedding light on the challenges women face, and the imperative for companies to take strategic action towards achieving gender parity.
  • Ahead of International Women’s Day, annual Women in the Workplace* report highlights that despite 93% of women feeling confident at work, gender-based pay and promotion discrepancies remain rife.  
  • Only one in ten men believe they are paid more than women, compared with a third of women (31%) – yet 31% of UK workers say that their organisation is making efforts to improve salary transparency.  
  • More than half (54%) of women report having children has a negative impact of career progression compared to a third (33%) of men. 

Despite the UK Government reporting that men earned higher median hourly pay than women at 79% of organisations in 2022/23, when asked about pay, four in five men (79%) believe men and women are paid equally, compared with only 55% of women. Further, just one in ten men (11%) believe they are paid more than women. This is in comparison to almost a third of women (31%), highlighting a staggering difference in perception of pay gap progress within the workplace. 

Despite 93% of both men and women feeling confident in their performance at work, the data from HiBob reveals that a third (33%) of women were not promoted in pay, benefits or position in 2023, compared with a quarter (25%) of men. However, only 17% of men believe they are promoted more often or quicker than women in their company, compared to women, who are twice (35%) as likely to hold this belief. 

Despite the stark difference in pay gap progress, in the context of government and employee pressure, only 31% of UK workers say that their organisation is making efforts to improve salary transparency.  

Women made to feel ‘less qualified’ and held back by parenthood 

In addition to ongoing pay and promotion gaps, significantly more women (23%) than men (9%) reported being made to feel uncomfortable or less qualified at work because of their gender. Of those women who have experienced this, a shocking two in five (40%) reported incidents every few months and one in five (22%) quite often. 

When asked about the impact of children on career progression, more than half (54%) of women report having children has a negative impact of career progression compared to just a third (33%) of men. Surprisingly, 31% of men go as far as to say children have a positive impact on career progression, compared to 19% of women. 

Female leadership 

In terms of supporting women into leadership positions, a third of women (32%) report that their company has made a visible commitment in the last year, however just one in twenty (5%) say their company offers female leadership mentoring schemes and only one in ten (10%) say they experience their company’s attitude towards women via the executive leadership.  

Nirit Peled-Muntz, Chief People Officer at HiBob comments,Despite women remaining confident at work, the data from our third annual report is clear, there is still a way to go to achieve gender equality. To enact real, tangible change in 2024, companies need to make strategic plans and take action to support female parity in the workplace. This includes, eliminating pay and promotion gaps, establishing female leadership mentoring schemes and rooting out gender biases by investing in education for staff.

“After a year of limited progress, I hope to see employers take deliberate strides towards equality in the workplace this year. Progressing towards equality is a smart business move. Mckinsey’s latest Diversity Matters report found top-quartile companies have a 39 percent greater likelihood of financial outperformance than bottom quartile peers. Additionally, when you consider that women make up half the workforce, many realise that fair pay is a business issue. It is a fact that happy people who are paid fairly are more likely to stay and thrive, and in the competitive talent landscape, this is essential. Remember, people are a company’s most valuable asset. Treating them right is good business practice.”

*Survey from HiBob

 

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