A third of male managers think that too much effort is placed into supporting gender equality at work, a survey by the Chartered Management Institute has found.
The poll found that 33% of men felt there was too much emphasis placed on achieving gender balance, compared to 13% of women. Almost half (47%) of female managers feel too little effort goes into gender equality.
Two-thirds of managers think that businesses can successfully navigate future challenges without gender-balanced leadership, while only a third of female managers feel this to be the case.
Many female managers felt they had missed out on opportunities because of their identity, according to the CMI. Thirty-seven per cent of female managers with children said they’d missed out on promotion, for example.
Almost three in 10 managers said they had missed out on salary increases – but female managers with children were far more likely to say this was the case, with 33% saying this had happened compared to a fifth of male managers.
The move towards more flexible working since the pandemic has helped more women to juggle home and work life, however. Six in 10 managers of both sexes said flexible working had opened up job opportunities where previously it might have been difficult to balance office-based and remote work.
Last week, Aviva Group CEO hit back at sexist comments made during the company’s annual general meeting
One investor claimed women were “good at basic housekeeping activities” while another asked whether she should be wearing trousers.
CMI chief executive Ann Francke said this was just one “highly public example of the inequalities that exist at every level of organisations”.
“We have a long way to go still, yet CMI data is starting to pick up resistance and perhaps even early signs of backlash amongst many men,” she said.
“Men have the potential to be great allies in achieving gender balance. But there has been too little effort devoted to communicating the enormous benefits that greater equity offers including for better business and organisational performance as all talent is better developed and deployed.
“Progress is far too slow, and these concerning findings even suggest that the prospect of us regressing is ever-present. Poor recent progress on gender pay gaps reveals the uphill challenge we still face.
“If anything, many are over-optimistic on the rate of current progress and the distance yet to be travelled. Yet, we know how important gender-balance is and what works to make a positive difference.”