Men and women have markedly different views on how far UK employers have progressed on gender equality, research has revealed.
The survey of nearly 2,000 UK workers by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), shows that 44% of men believe men and women are equal – compared to just 23% of women.
Nearly four in 10 of the 989 female respondents said women have to work harder and longer than men to get to the top in business, compared to less than a fifth of the 935 male respondents.
The survey, which was released to coincide with today’s International Women’s Day, also revealed that only 11% of men thought women were good leaders and an inspiration, with 20% of women believing that to be the case.
Sarah Churchman, director of diversity at PwC, said it was “no surprise” that men think that equality has progressed more than women.
“Some men don’t realise what it’s like to face a macho male-dominated culture in a working environment,” she said.
“The fight to the top gets tougher all the time the more squeeze companies put on learning, promotions, and pay rises. Job insecurity could reverse the progress we’ve made in equality because it breeds presenteeism, people protecting their own work, and a tougher fight to the top for all.”
A clause in the forthcoming Equality Bill could make it mandatory for organisations to publish their gender pay gap by 2013.