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83% of women think gender discrimination exists in the workplace

Published 8th March 2016 by Megan Jeapes

•    8 in 10 of women (83%) in full time employment believe gender discrimination is still present in the workplace.
•    Almost half of women (45%) think they have personally experienced discrimination in the workplace because of their gender.
•    The good news is that statistics have dropped by 5% since our poll in 2015, although it is clear there is still a long way to go. 

8 in 10 of women (83%) in full time employment believe gender discrimination is still present in the workplace, according to a poll of 2000 employees commissioned by Investors in People. With the study revealing that almost half of women (45%) think they have personally experienced discrimination in the workplace because of their gender. 

The Investors in People poll explores employee perceptions of gender discrimination versus the hard hitting facts. The poll found that 30% of men believe there is no difference between men and women’s pay, but according to the facts, women are earning on average 19% less than men an hour (UKCES, 2015). 

The poll also reveals the top sectors considered by both men and women to pursue a career in. With women more likely to choose to pursue a career in Healthcare and Social services (29%) Professional or Legal services (26%) or Education (25%). Compared to men who are more likely to consider a career in IT and Telecoms (29%) or Finance (24%). Sectors preferred by men typically have the largest pay gaps between men and women.  

According to Investors in People it isn’t just women suffering from gender discrimination in the workplace, with a stigma around paternity leave existing for men. The research exposes that 60% of employees believe it’s considered unusual for men to take more than 2 weeks paternity leave. 

On International Women’s Day Investors in People (IIP) calls for greater diversity and gender equality in the workplace for all. Investors in People interviewed a number of leaders in business to get their views on gender discrimination. 

Liz Sayce, Disability UK CEO commented: “We’re missing out on some fantastic women who could be running and shaping our organisations.” 

When giving her advice to a young woman perusing a career in a science or technology industry Liz continued: “Go for what you want, never curb your ambitions. Get a good mentor and go for it.”

Paul Devoy, Head of Investors in People, commented: 
“The level of perceived gender discrimination uncovered by our report is worryingly high, with over 80% women believing discrimination by gender is still prevalent in the workplace. 

The good news is that this statistic has dropped by 5% since our poll in 2015, although it is clear there is still a long way to go. Our work is key in improving diversity in the workplace, something we achieve by encouraging empowerment, diversity and leadership through the Investors in People Standard.”

The poll revealed that 41% of employees believe their workplace has a culture of encouraging gender equality, a statistic that has room for growth. On International Women’s Day Investors in People calls for employers to take action for gender parity.