In the UK, almost nine in ten women in full-time employment (88%) believe gender discrimination is still present in the workplace. The poll by Investors in People (IIP) the government-backed people management experts, makes for grim reading in the run up to International Women’s Day.
The study reveals that over half of women (51%) think they may have experienced discrimination in the work place due to their gender. The effects can be far reaching: some 31% of women believe being female has had a negative effect on their career, and a quarter (25%) have considered leaving a job because of perceived discrimination.
Over a third (34%) believe being a woman – and being discriminated against because of it – has had an impact on their pay. Some 33% of women have been put off having a child due to the perceived career limitations of such a decision.
“The fact that so many women believe gender discrimination is still so prevalent in today’s business world is very concerning. It is up to leaders to help change both perception and the reality of discrimination; an inclusive culture is fundamental to success for any organization” says Valerie Todd, Chair of IIP and Director of Talent at Crossrail.
The findings come after four years of active consciousness raising by the UK government on the merits of gender diversity as part of better corporate governance in business, and in the media at large aimed at the general public. IIP’s poll also shows that gender inequality is more acutely perceived by younger generations, especially 18-24 year olds.
In this age group, a startling 54% believe they have been discriminated against while employed because of gender, compared to the average of 44% – and 27% think gender discrimination has impaired their career, compared to 23% on average.
“The level of perceived gender discrimination our report has uncovered is worryingly high. We need to make sure we don’t accept the status quo and 2015 is the year to make it happen” says Paul Devoy, Head of IIP.
Britain is less than 10 weeks from another general election, and it is one where both the young – and the female – vote will be critical. Women’s economic participation in the labor force remains a key economic priority, but so is the pay gap.
There is a growing sense that the top political parties need to commit to show leadership on this issue, reflected in articles like this one.
This article was written by Dina Medland from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.