Have We Achieved Gender Equality in the Modern Workplace?

The assumption that women in leadership roles will do “housekeeping” tasks in the workplace. Such as making tea and coffee, or time keeping in a meeting can seem like a trivial and outdated concern, compared to the substantial obstacles they must overcome to beat their male counterparts.

However, it is exactly these kinds of attitudes that stop genuine equality. “It is time to recognise and rectify unconscious biases occurring in the workplace.” States the CIPD People Magazine.


The proverbial “glass ceiling”

During a study where 50 female leaders were interviewed regarding challenges women face in the workplace. Almost 90% believed there was a proverbial “glass ceiling” in their positions. Their reasoning for thinking this, was surprisingly, nothing to do with family responsibilities outside of work. However, the barriers were more connected to individual behaviour and attitudes in their respective teams.

Does this attitude of women being inferior to men in the workplace originate from out of date ingrained societal opinions? Possibly so. Many of the women interviewed, said they identified with the psychological concept of “holding back”. The idea that if they wanted a promotion, or a role change, they wouldn’t apply unless they matched 99% of the required criteria. Whereas, under the same study, men were found to apply even if they considered themselves to be only 50% suitable. The male applicants stated that they would apply hoping their confidence and boldness would win the interviewer over.

We recently discussed humour in the workplace and why that is so different for men and women, you can read more about it here.

Addressing the gender pay gap

It is important for HR teams and Managers to tackle these out-dated opinions, and support the growing parity in the workplace, which has seen a surge of women leaders over the last few years. However, there still leaves a lot to be desired regarding pay gaps as a result of gender inequality in 2020.