The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
There has been a large debate over the years on the subject of if there is equality in the workplace, and, this is still a subject that remains at the forefront of discussions in the world we live today.
Recently, Towergate Insurance, created a data graphic on Female CEO’s questioning and answering is there equality at the top. Gender pay is a central point of discussion, which has always been the focus in the business world, so why do men receive more than women still and what factors keep affecting the gap? Do you know how many of the 600 companies in the FTSE 100 and S&P 500 are led by women? Why not take a guess here: https://www.towergateinsurance.co.uk/public-indemnity-insurance/female-ceos
It is astonishing that still, men are dominating the business scene, only 33 of the 600, just 33 are led by women. But why does this figure remain so low? As well as gender, there are still some factors to consider as detailed in the graphic, such as age, experience, having a family, stress barriers, etc. and are those perceptions changing anytime soon?
Many businesses are starting to become more open minded and starting to develop promotions based on key traits, successful leadership and business development based on real valuable traits from either gender, which is how a good business should run. Typically the traits taken into consideration are factors such as decisiveness, organisational skills, innovation, ambition, intelligence, compassion and honesty, and women should be able to obtain a higher position based on these traits as do men.
One of the key things to remember is change can only help if more people are aware of the problems or complications that exist in business, by spreading awareness of issues such as inequality at the top perhaps more can be done in the near future to change this once and for all.
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Is there equality at the top?
The gender pay gap is a central issue in the modern business world, but is this disparity present even in the most senior positions? Are women at the top being treated equally? If not, why do they perceive that to be?
Let’s now look into how exactly women are faring at the top of the business world by examining common barriers, differences in opportunities for progression, and pay discrepancies.
ARE WOMEN GENERALLY OLDER THAN MEN? Women are on average the same age, if not younger, than male CEOs.
DO WOMEN HAVE THE SAME EARNING CAPACITY AS MEN? On average, male CEOs earn upwards of £2 million more than women as of the fiscal year 2016.
DOES IT TAKE LONGER FOR WOMEN TO BECOME CEOS THAN MEN? On average, it takes women nearly a year and a half longer to become a CEO than men.
WOMEN: 25.1 years in industry
MEN: 23.8 years in industry
BARRIERS TO FEMALE SUCCESS
WHAT CHALLENGES DO WOMEN PERCEIVE THEY EXPERIENCE IN THE WORKPLACE?
These are the most common challenges women say they have faced in the workplace throughout their careers according to one study.
38% Challenges in the workplace (non-supportive workplace culture)
22% Balancing family and work
14% Inadequate training and information
11% Personal issues
7% Changing career and direction
IS HAVING A FAMILY PERCEIVED AS HINDERING?
This is the proportion of respondents with a child 18 years or younger who think that being a working parent makes it harder to advance in their career.
However, when asking ‘Millennial’ workers without children the same question, there was no gender gap, with 62% saying it would make it harder to advance, suggesting that there is a shift in perception when both sexes start a family.
IS STRESS A BARRIER TO SUCCESS?
Percentage of respondents saying they were deterred by workplace pressure.
DON’T WANT THE STRESS OR PRESSURE OF THE ROLE
ARE WOMEN HELD TO A HIGHER STANDARD THAN MEN?
When asked ‘why aren’t women in top business positions?’, these proportions believed that women were held to a higher standard than men.
IS GENDER PERCEIVED TO BE DIRECTLY INHIBITING SUCCESS?
The perception is that simply being female will inhibit your chances to progress within a business.
Your experience to date (% yes)
These are the percentages of respondents who believed that women have fewer, the same, or more opportunities for career progression than men.
Women: 2%, Men: 16%
The same opportunities:
Women: 55%, Men: 72%
Women: 43%, Men: 12%
WHAT EQUALITY WOULD MEAN
As women make up half of the working world’s population, if women played an identical role in working life to that of men, global annual GDP would potentially increase by $28 trillion (26%) by 2025.
ARE PERCEPTIONS CHANGING?
WHAT TRAITS ARE ESSENTIAL TO BEING A LEADER?
When asked about which traits make the best leaders, the following were considered to be the most important characteristics.
- Honesty 84%
- Intelligence 80%
- Decisiveness 80%
- Organisation 67%
- Compassion 57%
- Innovation 56%
- Ambition 53%
ARE WOMEN PERCEIVED TO HAVE THESE TRAITS?
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Clearly, people recognise that women have the traits required to be effective leaders. So the question remains: why aren’t there more women CEOs?
- Intelligence 86%
- Innovation 75%
- Ambition 68%
- Honesty 67%
- Compassion 65%
- Decisiveness 62%
- Organisation 48%