We recently asked over 200 women whether or not they feel they are treated equally within the workplace. Here are the responses:

Treated Equally

We asked 211 women if they feel they are treated equally within the workplace. Just under half of all respondents (104) said they are treated equally, with 68 women saying that they feel as if men are treated better within the workplace. 39 women didn’t know whether they are treated equally or not.

gender equality in the workplace survey results

Male Progression

Out of the 209 women who responded to this question, 101 feel as though men generally progress more quickly in their places of work.

gender equality in the workplace survey results
Michael Lewin Solicitors - Employment

Equal Pay

Although the equality act states that women should be paid equally for doing the same job as men, almost half of the 211 who responded to this question don’t know whether men and women receive the same salary for the same job.

gender equality in the workplace survey results

Maternity Leave and Pregnancy

Almost two-thirds (134) of all 209 women who answered this question feel that taking maternity leave will have a negative effect on their career prospects at their current workplace.

maternity leave results: maternity leave negative effect

Victim of Gender Discrimination

We asked 211 women if they have ever been a victim of gender discrimination in the workplace. Over a third of all participants feel that at some point in their career, they have been discriminated against because of their gender.

gender equality in the workplace survey results - employment

We asked all of the women who felt that they had been a victim of discrimination within the workplace to elaborate on what happened. Below is a sample of what some of them said:

“In my previous role I took on responsibility way out of my job role but had to fight for years for change of job title and pay. My confidence was very low by the time I left. My male boss would make comments about my appearance and weight and when I discussed wanted to do a PHD with a colleague he butted in to tell me I could only do ‘a PHD in shopping’.”

“Just a general deep rooted sexism in the what men talk to women or about women.”

“I’m paid less than male colleague doing same job.”

“I had more responsibility and more staff than a male colleague, but the male colleague was paid c £10k per annum more than me. When I questioned why this was I was told that as we were the same grade the pay difference “was acceptable”.”

“Had more quals and experience than male colleague doing exact same job but he was paid nearly £4k more. Only found out due to office temp telling me over wine.”

“Unequal pay (I was paid less than a less qualified male colleague). Old Boys Club still rules here and women aren’t tolerated. Misogynistic and disableist bullying sexist comments when my disability causes me pain, funny walking etc.”

“Talked over in meetings, credit for my ideas assigned to male co-workers, frequent dismissive comments when voicing my opinion/idea/suggestion, suggestions from female HR to “soften” my approach/dress more femininely, complaints from female staff to HR that I “wasn’t nice”, excluded from happy hour invitations, excluded from golf outings (both of which included male executives), endless list…”

“Was bullied by boss after returning from maternity leave. Boss wanted me out.”

“When I complained about pornography posted in the workplace to a manager, he told me that to ignore it as the men were just doing what they do. Men who do not perform get coaching. They keep their jobs and their supervisor talks about how he is really shaping up. Duties are reduced to allow him to do less work. Junior women hired are assigned the duties and they are let go if they do not perform. My workplace is 80% women. The very top layer of the pay scale and hierarchy is 80% men. Salary, Benefits and security for the 80% women have been drastically eroded over the last 5 to 6 years. all decisions made by the male dominated management group ( I am mid-level management) at the same time we are schooled about how to defend executive salaries to the public.”

How can we improve gender equality in the workplace?

We gave all participants the chance to suggest how they think gender equality in the workplace can improve. Here are a few suggestions:

“I would like men to be held to a higher standard of behaviour than they presently are. I find that they are awarded when they appear to work hard (in my workplace), whereas we women who work hard consistently do not get the praise. They are often more visible than us as well.”

“There are no general suggestions that will work. All of society is geared towards disadvantaging women.”

“Mandatory and transparent equal pay audits at regular intervals. Female mentoring and bullying and harassment networks so women can be supported and issues escalated where necessary. Gender equality training for Senior Management so Chairs are more aware of gender politics (silencing of women, taking their ideas, viewing them negatively if they are vocal) in meetings.”

“Better education at school on issues of equality should start at primary level. It’s a cultural problem, so workplaces should have proper equality and diversity training, not just pay lip service to it.”

“More transparency about salary brackets for positions. Child care options Flexibility to work from home.”

A special thanks to the Castleford Tigers, WorkingMums, Deeyah Khan and the F Word for helping us gather our results.

If you would like to give your commentary on our survey results, please email andrewscaife@michaellewin.co.uk.

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