Global leaders believe gender equality in the workplace is at least a generation away
Leaders believe it will take an average of 17 years until women have the same opportunity to reach senior leadership roles as men, according to a new global research study released by Right Management, the global career expert arm of ManpowerGroup.
The launch of this research coincides with the launch of RightEverywhere, a new digital delivery platform. Right Management say it is designed to help individuals, both leaders and non-leaders, to advance their careers and realise their potential throughout their working life. It includes various assessments for identifying strengths, interests and optimal work environments and assists individuals in preparing to enter the workforce, transitioning to new employment, building skills in their current position or looking for personal career guidance.
The survey of more than 200 male and female global leaders from companies with over half a million employees also found that that there were some stark differences between the way millennials think about the gender gap compared with their gen X and baby boomer counterparts. While millennials believe they are the generation to make equality happen, they are also the most pessimistic about the number of years it will take to achieve it. Millennial females are most cynical, anticipating 22 years, in contrast to baby boomer males who believe it can be achieved eight years’ sooner, after just 14 years.
Ian Symes, general manager at Right Management UK & Ireland, commented, “Can we really afford to wait another generation until women have the same opportunities in the workplace as men? Millennials have the most potential to drive new behaviours around the treatment of women in the workplace but for them to feel inspired enough to act, they need to know a level playing field is within reach. The number one thing employers can do to engage this demographic is to take a bolder, more proactive approach to creating and facilitating their career journeys.
“Young professionals think about careers in terms of ‘waves’ not ladders and want the flexibility to switch gears at different stages. To back them in their mission to change the way work gets done, employers need to start offering them the tools to take complete ownership of their career paths and show them that they’re serious about nurturing their ‘career for me’ mentality. The introduction of our RightEverywhere tool is a huge leap for us into the world of HR technology and we are confident that it will be an effective way for employees to take ownership of their careers and achieve greater success in senior positions. Especially in an age where mobile technology is growing more and more prevalent.
“We need to be building a culture that encourages regular conversations around personal and professional growth and assessable career development tools must play a major part in this. By offering such tools, employers will increase engagement and ultimately productivity and performance. Since 2008, the share of women in self-employment has increased by almost one-third. Women in the corporate world are worn down by this circular conversation about equality, it’s time to turn the talk into action or risk your best female talent leaving the business.”