Gender diversity in the workplace

While much progress has been made in recent years, there’s no denying that gender inequality is still prominent in workplaces across the world.

In 2016, nine European countries were included in a survey that covered 2,200 employees across 233 companies. While it’s acknowledged that the majority of companies had introduced gender diversity, only 24 % of the companies had more than 20% of their top management positions occupied by women. The survey also found that European women still spend more time working unpaid hours and part-time hours than men.

Gender diversity ranked in the top three priorities for only 7% of the companies, indicating that gender diversity was not an issue of concern for management. By contrast, more than 88% of employees felt their companies weren’t doing enough to improve gender diversity. These findings highlight a significant gap between the expectations of employees and the delivery of companies.

In Europe, the results of the survey indicate that gender diversity is a low priority, but this isn’t necessarily consistent across the world. In South Africa, 50% of the cabinet is made up of women; an example of a government leading by example.

When it came to gender diversity programs within the companies surveyed, only 40% were satisfied that the programs were being implemented. This figure indicates that the programs are not sufficiently effective and not properly implemented to achieve the best possible outcomes.

A reason for the lack of gender diversity in the workplace is that women are often perceived to prioritise their children and families over their careers. Many still feel that companies are not doing enough to close the gender diversity gap and making the fact that they are often the primary caregiver for children is an inadequate excuse.