‘Most organisations still struggling on gender balance’

More than four in five women and 80% of men report that they have witnessed gender-discriminatory acts at work, according to the latest research from CMI.

The Blueprint for Balance: time to fix the broken windows report, which surveyed 856 managers, found that the majority of organisations are still struggling to make significant steps forwards in achieving a gender-balanced workplace, with just 25% of respondents saying that their peers and senior leaders ‘actively and visibly champion gender initiatives’.

It finds only 19% of junior and middle managers believe their senior leaders are committed to the target of gender balance in their organisations and that, despite the introduction of new pay transparency reporting regulations in April 2017, only 8% of managers know the size of their organisation’s gender pay gap.

Furthermore, more than two in five (41%) claim that their organisation does not have a gender pay gap, even though previous CMI research has found the average difference in pay between male and female managers to be 27%.

CMI chief executive Ann Francke said: “Only then will organisations build inclusive cultures where women, other minorities, and men, can thrive.”

The CMI Blueprint for Balance report also reveals that less than a third of managers give their employers top marks for the effectiveness of flexible working, pay and rewards and recruitment practices to promote gender diversity.

The majority (59%) also believe that their employer is failing to provide mentoring and sponsorship opportunities; and half (48%) say that their organisation’s management culture does not support gender balance.

CMI’s Blueprint for Balance report charts employers’ current approaches to achieving gender balance, as well as the many persistent types of bias that continue to separate corporate rhetoric from the realities of today’s workplace for women.

It highlights the changes employers need to make to these so-called ‘broken windows’ in their organisation – the small acts of discrimination that make possible the bigger blockers to gender diversity.

Examples include female managers interviewed saying that they are viewed internally as ‘admin only’ in their organisation through to male colleagues taking unearned credit for their ideas. The fixes suggested include practices such as balanced recruitment, flexible working as the norm and promoting leadership development programmes for women.

The report was published as the BBC announced six of its top male presenters are taking pay cuts in the wake of Carrie Gracie’s resignation as China editor over calls for equal pay for equal work.

*The CMI’s Broken Windows campaign is encouraging women to share their stories of workplace discrimination and how they are tackling them. Email your story to: [email protected]

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