‘The differences in how women and men are responding forces us to consider what underlying unconscious biases are at work’
When it comes to the challenges around the lower number of females in leadership roles, men and women aren’t entirely in sync on a few key points, finds a recent survey.
While overall a majority of working Canadian women and men (71 per cent) believe balanced representation of both genders on a leadership team will have a positive impact on a business' financial success, this is offset by a lower proportion of men (65 per cent) than women (77 per cent) who acknowledge that potential.
When asked why there aren't more women in leadership roles, almost two-thirds of women (62 per cent) identify gender discrimination as a factor, while only 41 per cent of men held the same view, found the survey of 2,000 workers by Randstad Canada.
A lack of female role models was cited as one of the main reasons (32 per cent) there aren’t more women on boards of Canadian corporations or occupying senior management jobs, found the survey of 2,000 workers by Randstad Canada.
But when it comes to why there aren’t more prominent women, gender discrimination was tabbed as the biggest reason by 62 per cent of women, while only 41 per cent of men held the same view.
Half of Canadian women (50 per cent) said prioritizing family life keeps women from leadership roles, compared to 42 per cent of men who stated this to be true. Similarly, 26 per cent of women responded that "women don't take enough risks to advance their career" whereas only 19 per cent of men shared this view.
“The fundamental differences in how women and men are responding to the same question forces us to consider what underlying unconscious biases are at work — for both women and men — and how organizations can address them,” says Carolyn Levy, president of Randstad Technologies. “If this number of working men don’t believe gender discrimination is an issue and that there simply aren’t qualified women for leadership roles, it creates a barrier for women’s advancement. By acknowledging these issues, we correct them and create more balanced leadership teams and boards.”
When it comes to the gender wage gap, the differences are also stark.
“Where 63 per cent of working women believe there is pay gap, only 45 per cent of men state the same; a number that shrinks to 39 per cent among working men aged 35 to 54. When the majority of men don’t believe the gender pay gap actually exists, they won’t be inclined to try to address it in their organization,” says Levy.
Thoughts on parental leave:
· 62 per cent of women said if more men take parental leave, it would help to balance expectations around gender in the home, compared with 46 per cent of men.
· 60 per cent of women believe this would help balance gender expectations in the workplace, compared to 45 per cent of men.
· 46 per cent of women believe men taking parental leave would help women advance in their careers, compared with 38 per cent of men.