Majority of female staff have experienced gender-related inequality

In the past five years more than half of Australian working women have experienced gender inequality

Majority of female staff have experienced gender-related inequality
Fifty-two per cent of working Australian women have said they’ve experienced some form of gender-related inequality in the past five years in the workplace.
 
However, only 41% of working men believe they have witnessed inequality directed towards their female colleagues. 
 
That’s according to the Westpac 2016 Women of Influence Report which surveyed 2,289 people from across Australia, who are currently (or recently have been) in the workforce.
 
The results found that most common forms of inequality Australian women feel they face isn’t the gender pay gap, but the following:
  • Being expected to do the caring/housekeeping duties (even though it is not part of their job description)
  • Being given less interesting job tasks/duties
  • Being the target of jokes or innuendo 
Women in senior management were the most likely to believe they have experienced a gender-based salary differential (29%) compared to 8% of entry level positions, 11% of mid-senior level employees, 21% mid-level management, and 7% of self-employed/business owners. 
 
“Gender inequality comes in many different forms; it is more than just a salary – it is a form of subtle sexism,” said Ainslie van Onselen, Westpac’s director of women’s markets, inclusion and diversity.
 
“Feedback from women suggests Australian workforces are continuing to use gender stereotypes and expectations in employment, which are contributing to the underlying cause of gender inequality.
 
“This is evident from our research that shows male workers around Australia perceive their female bosses as performing more poorly than male bosses on every metric including business knowledge, achieving results, productivity, communication skills, making a positive change in the workplace and overall performance.”
 
Indeed, the research found men rate their male bosses 6% higher overall.
 
This is especially prevalent when asked about allowing colleagues to realise their potential and making a positive change in the workplace, with male bosses rating 9% higher than women.
 
Moreover, while women are more likely to have said they have witnessed every type of workplace gender inequality directed towards their female colleagues than men, 41% of men believe they have witnessed some kind of inequality. 
 
After witnessing what they believe to be an incident of gender-related inequality in the workplace, three quarters (74%) of men said they stepped in to address the situation.
 
Some of the most common actions men said they took were
  • Offering support or assistance to the victim (31%)
  • Voicing concerns to management (22%)
  • Warning others in the workplace of the behaviours witnessed (21%)
 “A lack of awareness can compound the issue of gender inequality itself,” said van Onselen.
 
“It is encouraging to see that so many people are recognising subtle sexism and gender inequality in the workplace; however more direct action is needed, such as reporting the incident to human resources.” 
 
The online research took place between 20 and 25 May 2016.
 
 
 

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