Australians say employers favour men

by 27 Oct 2011

Australian organisations are missing the mark when it comes to addressing gender imbalances in their workforces, according to new research.

The study, which was conducted by recruitment agency and HR services provides Randstad, highlighted a significant divide between the perceptions of Australian men and women on gender issues in the workplace.

It was found that when organisations are seeking new managers, just 40% of males in HR departments said their employers take into account the current number of men and women already in higher management positions in their organisation, and even fewer females (25%) agreed that gender diversity was considered.

Randstad CEO, Fred van der Tang, said it is concerning that only a quarter of women recognised their employer’s efforts to address gender imbalance.

“Considering the current debate about female under-representation in leadership roles, I would expect more organisations to be actively taking steps to balance the scales. Clearly there is still plenty of work to be done,” Van der Tang said.

He said it was concerning to see such a large disparity between the perceptions of men and women when it comes to the efforts of their employers to recruit more women into leadership roles.

“Such inconsistency indicates men and women are receiving very different messages about their employer’s approach to gender balance,” Van der Tang added.

Kellie Rigg, organisational psychologist at Randstad, said in most cases there is no good reason why, when hiring leaders, an employer should favour a man over a woman, and said the entrenched nature of workplace gender imbalance makes efforts to balance the scales even harder.

“Unfortunately, the existing under-representation of women in leadership roles perpetuates the imbalance,” Rigg said.


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