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A new report focuses on what men can do to improve gender equality in the workplace.
Over half [54%] of women believe that their gender has negatively affected their career progression, according to a global study.
The study of 600 employees by professional training company Roar Training found 47% of men don’t believe that women are treated equally in the workplace and 31% have experienced a co-worker being treated unfairly because of her gender.
Despite this there is a significant difference between men and women’s perception of inequality in the workplace. Sixty-four per cent of male respondents said female co-workers are given the same opportunities as them and 10% believe their female co-workers get more opportunities than them. Nevertheless, 91% of male respondents think that gender equality is either important, or extremely important to them, even though only 71% said they actively support gender equality in the workplace.
Some 27% of female respondents say they have been actively supported by a male coworker when being treated unfairly in the workplace. However, 56% were not actively supported. Some 92% of women want an open dialogue, where issues can be addressed together, discussed on a case by case basis.
Kirsty Hulse, Founder of Roar Training, said: “The route to both achieving gender parity in the workplace, and ensuring those within businesses feel their is a commitment to this is undoubtedly nuanced, complex and subjective. This research suggests there is an agreed starting point when addressing the issue of gender equality in the workplace.
“There is seemingly no “rule” as to whether sexist behaviour ought to be openly called out, or the role of male allies is to facilitate positive change in the background. This is entirely subjective to the individual, and seemingly differs depending on which stage of their careers they are in. Based on this, the most effective male allies are those whom discuss openly their biases, actively listen to their female coworkers and ask how their female colleagues would best like to address these issues.”
So what can men do to address gender equality? The report suggests listening and believing what is being reported by women is important. Many women reported that their male co-workers do not “believe” how they feel. Roar! says this is supported by a disparity between female reporting how they feel in the workplace, and male perceptions.
Another important point is for employees to be aware of any bias that may be informing their actions and decisions and to create an open dialogue so that issues can be addressed according to a specific individual’s needs.