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Workplace gender diversity: what’s the status quo?

We review the latest research about gender diversity in the workplace.

Workplace gender diversity is a hot topic at the moment. With movements like #metoo and Lean In making global headlines, gender equality is firmly on the agenda (for good reason).

But social media buzz is one thing; data is another. What’s actually happening in workplaces? Is gender diversity on the rise or remaining stagnant? What trends, opportunities, and challenges does the future hold?

We review the latest diversity research in an attempt to answer these questions.

 

UN Women

Turning promises into action: Gender equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

About the report

This whitepaper assesses the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 from a gender perspective, identifying progress, gaps and challenges.

Key findings for Australia

  • The number of women in the workforce compared to men has been “consistently lower” over a 20-year period. In 2017, the labour force participation rate (LFPR) for men was 91%, compared to 77% for women. This shows a slight increase from 2007, when women’s LFPR was 75.1%.
  • Women do 1.9 times more unpaid domestic work and care than men. Only 38% of same sex couples contribute equally to the domestic workload.
  • As of September 2017, women held 28.7% of parliamentary seats. This is higher than the global average of 23.7%.
  • Data availability for gender diversity continues to be a challenge. Current availability in Australia is 26.3%.

The bottom line

Australia is taking steps in the right direction, albeit slowly. There’s much more we can do to close the gender gap.. As said in the report: “Addressing these challenges requires dramatic advances in statistics, financing and policies for gender equality.”

 

Diversity Council Australia

The DCA-Suncorp Inclusion@Work Index

About the report

The Inclusion@Work Index surveyed 3,000 working Australians about diversity in the workplace and found that “inclusion is more than just the latest buzzword; it has benefits for business and workers too”.

Key findings

  • The majority of Australian workers support or strongly support their workplace taking action to improve diversity and inclusivity.
  • Those working in inclusive teams are 10x more likely to be highly effective than their non-inclusive counterparts.
  • Those working in inclusive teams are 19x more likely to report job satisfaction.
  • Almost 1 in 2 Australians work in an inclusive team or for an inclusive manager.

The bottom line

This Index leaves little room for doubt about the benefits of diversity, concluding that it “matters to the majority of Australian workers; fuels team performance and employee satisfaction, success and security, while also minimising the risk of harassment and discrimination; and benefits everyone”.

 

The University of Sydney Business School

Women and the future of work

About the report

This report is a study of Australian working women under the age of 40, including full-time, part-time, contract, casual, self-employed, and freelance workers.

Key findings

  • 80% of women place high value on having a job where they are treated with respect. For some, this is more important than remuneration; 65% of women place high value on a job that pays well.
  • Less than half of women (46%) reported having influence over decisions in the workplace, and only 49% said their manager asks for their input about workplace issues.
  • Only 53% of women believe gender equality in the workplace will improve over the next ten years, while 34% feel it will stay the same.
  • 43% of women feel they have the opportunity to move to a more senior position within their organisation.

The bottom line

For the women in this study, there are many factors that make up what ‘success at work’ means, from having the right skills and qualifications to having access to flexible working, receiving paid leave to have or care for family, and support/mentoring to develop leadership skills.

 

Deloitte/Westpac

Diversity Dividend Report

About the report

The Deloitte-Westpac Diversity Dividend Report highlights “Australia’s $10.8 billion diversity opportunity” through measuring the benefits of diversity to the Australian economy.

Key findings

  • Gender parity could result in a 0.6% increase in GDP and a 2.1 percentage point increase to business profitability.
  • Of the 1,000 businesses surveyed, only 34% of senior managers are women, and 40% of businesses have seen no change in gender equality in senior leadership within the last two years.
  • Many businesses do not have formal gender equality processes in place. For example, two in five do not have a formal gender strategy (written policy); less than two-thirds report on gender parity outcomes; only 12% have gender parity budgets; and only 6% have staff dedicated to inclusivity and diversity.

The bottom line

Many businesses are missing out on the benefits of gender parity. Says the report: “Gender diversity could be achieved by better understanding the financial benefits of investing in diversity, overcoming misconceptions and biases and creating an inclusive workplace.”

We’re making progress, but we’ve got a long way to go.

A strong theme has emerged from this research: slow progress. Most organisations are at least aware of gender diversity and appreciate the benefits. However, this is slow to translate into policies and actions. Hopefully as more research becomes available – and more organisations lead the way – gender equality will become the norm, not the exception.

At Autopia, we’re doing our part to raise awareness about gender equality through partnering with the Australian National Committee for UN Women. From hosting networking events and panel discussions to raising funds for UN Women’s important work, we’re committed to #DrivingGenderDiversity in Australia.

Posted by The Autopia Team

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