How Businesses Can Address Workplace Gender Inequality To Solve Talent Challenges

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According to new research from Bain & Company, both men and women have similar intentions, but different results as a result of their preference for certain occupations, their need for flexibility, and the persistence of prejudices.

The Covid-19 epidemic, the conflict in Ukraine, the big resignation, increasing inflation, and impending recession have all significantly disrupted the world’s workforces and created skill shortages. According to a recent Bain & Company study, women still make up less than 40% of the global workforce, and their involvement is dropping in many of the lower-income, faster-growing nations like India and Nigeria, where more women lack college degrees. Women may play a significant role in finding a solution to the skill gap.

Every nation has the chance to increase the number of women in the workforce in order to satisfy talent demands and promote women’s empowerment, despite varied starting positions and cultural circumstances. For the purpose of tackling gender parity and winning the struggle for talent, it is essential to comprehend the differences—and similarities—between men and women at work.

While women and men experience different outcomes in the workplace, Bianca Bax, an expert partner, and EMEA DE&I head, Bain & Company, noted that the motives are quite similar. “Across variables like financial orientation and companionship, men and women have similar reasons for working. Less than 30% of them feel involved at work, which is another similarity in views.

Despite advancements, there is still gender prejudice in employment choices, which might have its roots in early childhood expectations. Only 25% of computer positions and 13% of engineering jobs in the US are held by women. This prejudice is frequently instilled in young children through early experiences and expectations. In fact, studies have shown that at the age of seven, males prefer more stereotypically masculine jobs like engineering while girls choose more “caring” careers like teaching and nursing. There are still opportunities despite the global education gap narrowing. Bachelor’s degrees in computer science awarded to women decreased from 33% in 1980 to 21% in 2018. Globally, the situation is similar.

 since both men and women identify it as a priority when they first enter employment, but in certain nations, as people become older, women prioritize it more and men less. Although it frequently maintains women in the workforce, part-time employment is one of the primary causes of the wage gap. In the US, there are twice as many women as males who work part-time (of those, nearly 9 times more women voluntarily work part-time due to family needs). Many European nations have even greater percentages of women working part-time. The majority of Dutch women who work part-time do so to juggle children and employment.

The majority of workplace practices and organizational structures are still skewed, both consciously and unconsciously. Women are treated differently as a result of this. This is frequently seen as women not being sponsored, being required to handle the majority of administrative tasks, and societal double standards centered on the traditional career ladder.