Have you ever felt that your career has not progressed as quickly as your male colleague?
You are not alone. New research has found that a third of women in the UK have felt disadvantaged in the workplace at some point.
The research, carried out by recruitment consultants Badenoch and Clark, found 85% of women worry a career break could impact their progression and that 38% believe this damage would be long-term.
The survey also found that 75% of women were concerned by the lack of support given during career breaks and 19% of women had actually found that they had no support offered to them at all during their career break.
Meanwhile, 16% of the women they surveyed said they had been overlooked for promotion because of their gender. Are we still being restricted by the glass ceiling of gender discrimination?
What is Holding the UK Back From Having More Female Managers?
Stereotyping - 54% of people surveyed believed there is a perception that due to their personal commitments women require greater flexibility than men in order to maintain a healthy work/life balance.
Unconscious Bias - These are the assumptions that each of us make about groups of people (in this case, women), without even realising it. To read more check out our blog: Can Unconscious Bias be Cured?
Lack of Role Models - According to the BBC, women only occupy 30.9% of the most senior positions across 11 key sectors in the UK. The Badenoch and Clark research found that 26% of the women they surveyed thought that a lack of female role models was holding back aspiring female managers.
Gender Quotas - The idea would be to introduce laws whereby companies must meet a quota for the number of women in the boardroom. Independent corporate governance research firm GMI Ratings found that mandatory quotas can have a powerful effect on creating gender-diverse boards.
GMI ratings recorded a large increase in female appointments in France where mandatory quotas have been introduced, it was also noted that Nordic countries, where gender quotas were introduced, had the largest percentage of female directors in Europe.
Increased Training - The most recognisable way to help employees to develop are leadership and development programmes, targeted training and mentoring. Female employees, in particular, need to be selected for these types of programmes.
Breaking Down Barriers - Making the workplace a more inclusive environment is the key, but business still need to be persuaded this is good for business. Creating more agile working environments by reducing travel requirements to meetings and using video calling technology instead could help make workplaces more inclusive. Shared Parental Leave is a step towards evening out the playing field, with men able to take a more active role in child care if employers will encourage such leave and ensure that it is an affordable option.
You are protected from sex discrimination at work by the Equality Act 2010, so if you experience gender bias at work you may have a claim. Slater and Gordon Lawyers have extensive experience in cases involving sex discrimination in the workplace, dealing with hundreds of sexual discrimination and maternity-related discrimination cases each year.
Fill out our confidential online discrimination enquiry form and one of our expert discrimination solicitors will assess it for you for free. Call Slater and Gordon Lawyers on freephone 0800 916 9060 or you can contact us online.