41% Of Women ‘Believe Gender Will Hold Them Back’

41% Of Women ‘Believe Gender Will Hold Them Back’

Learning how to avoid and deal with sex discrimination in the workplace should perhaps be a priority for businesses moving forward, given new research from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) revealing that 41 per cent of young women in the UK think their gender will hinder their career aspirations.

The study also found that young men look at life a little differently, with 20 per cent of those asked saying that they would expect to earn more during their careers than their female counterparts.

All is not yet lost, however, as the young women surveyed – all between the ages of 13 and 22 – said that female leaders like Hillary Clinton, Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May could do a lot to help challenge sexist attitudes around the world while also encouraging diversity in the workplace.

Some 43 per cent of those asked said they believe that having a female president or prime minister would do a lot to encourage gender diversity in business, with 73 per cent saying they believe the behaviour and attitudes of senior leaders and CEOs are vital in order to encourage equal numbers of both sexes in the workplace.

RICS equalities manager Lucile Kamar said: “Having a diverse workforce is vital for future-proofing the property and construction industry. RICS has a duty to be a catalyst for change and support our professionals and firms on this journey. It is everyone’s duty to ensure that our profession is fit and relevant for the future and one of the ways is to make the workplace as inclusive as possible so that we can reach out to and retain a diverse talent pool.”

Another new report, this time from Cambridge academics at Murray Edwards College, has suggested that in actual fact men are the missing ingredient for achieving equality in the workplace for women. It was noted that women are still reporting that they often experience assumptions and behaviours from male colleagues and bosses that are frustrating and obstruct promotion by merit. Behaviours include being side-lined from informal conversations which is when decisions are often made, and being interrupted or talked over at meetings.

Solutions include being more transparent about how action is taken in practice, such as by having mixed gender teams carrying out audits after projects are completed to show how decisions were made. In addition, holding safe space meetings to give evidence on workplace culture and issues experienced by women on the team because of their gender could be done as well.

Going on a sex discrimination awareness course could also be a good idea. Such courses will cover topics like equal pay, avoiding and dealing with sex discrimination, indirect discrimination and exceptions to the law, as well as defining what sex discrimination actually is and where it may occur. Give us a call today to find out more.