Matrix Recruitment’s Workplace Equality Survey
50% of women and 35% of men have experienced discrimination in the workplace according to the Matrix Recruitment Workplace Equality Survey
56% say that gender quotas do not solve the problem of inequality at work
Gender quotas will never be achieved, says 17%
People without children expected to work late
Research shows that ageism is a problem in Ireland
10th December 2018: Our new survey released today shows that 50% of women and 35% of men have experienced discrimination in the workplace ranging from sexual harassment to pay inequality, and gender stereotyping to having to tolerate sexist jokes and comments.
Matrix Recruitment’s Workplace Equality Survey of more than 1,000 adults also found that one in four (25%) workers in Ireland know of a colleague of the opposite sex, but in the same role and with the same level of responsibility, receiving a higher salary.
“When it comes to equality in the workplace, we still have a long way to go in Ireland,” said Kieran McKeown, our MD here at Matrix Recruitment. “In our experience, things are changing and impending legislation will help. However, the perception, which for many is a reality, is that inequality and discrimination, particularly against women and older people, is pervasive, according to our research findings.”
Discrimination; sexual harassment
Of the respondents (50% female, 35% male) who have experienced discrimination at work:
- 21% of women and 12% of men reported experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace
- 5% of women and 21% of men feel they are being discriminated against, saying that they were expected to work late because they don’t have children
- Stereotyping is not uncommon in the workplace, particularly amongst men. One in five men (21%) reported being stereotyped because of their nationality and 11% said that they are targeted for menial tasks, on the basis of their gender
- 44% of women compared to 14% of men reported having to tolerate sexist jokes and comments
Gender pay gap still exists
The Matrix Recruitment Workplace Equality Survey has shown that more than one in four women (27%) and one in five men (21%) has a colleague of the opposite sex, in the same role and doing the same work, being paid a higher salary.
Reactions to this finding varied with nearly half (48%) of respondents saying that they would address the issue with a manager and 18% saying they would seek a pay rise. 12% of people would actively look for a new job, whilst 6.5% responded that they would take no action if they knew of gender pay discrepancies in their workplace.
The glass ceiling has not been broken
Regarded as a barrier to advancement that usually affects women or minorities, a question on the proverbial glass ceiling emerged as one of the most divisive. 69% of women compared to just 29% of men suggested that there is a glass ceiling for women in Ireland today.
“This is a really interesting statistic, as it demonstrates that there is a significant disparity between the views of men and women and that they each have a very different perception on the extensiveness of what should be an outdated concept,” said Kieran McKeown.
More promotional opportunities for men?
When it comes to promotional opportunities in the workplace, the views of men and women once again differ quite significantly.
63% of women responded that there were greater opportunities for men in the workplace. 28% of men agreed. 36% of women stated that there were equal promotional opportunities, whilst 60% of men felt that this was the presiding situation in Ireland.
“I think it is quite significant that there is still a huge gap between the views of men and women on workplace equality. As recruiters, we would hope that the Government’s impending legislation in relation to the gender pay gap and mandatory salary reporting will go some way towards redressing not only any legacy inequalities, but also the perceptions that people have around such issues,” said Kieran McKeown.
“It is my hope that ultimately, surveys of this nature will become redundant as full equality is realised for men and women of every age, nationality and persuasion.”
Gender quotas work – but only in principle
According to the new research, 59% of people agree with the principle of gender quotas in the workplace. Of these, 67% are women and 47% are men.
However, while the gender quota principle received support, almost 88% of people agreed that gender should not influence promotions, job offers or salary, all of which should be offered on merit.
56% of respondents also felt that gender quotas do not solve the problem of inequality in the workplace and 17% went as far as to say that they would never be achieved.
Fewer opportunities for over 45’s
Nearly two thirds of people (64%) think that there is an ageism problem in Ireland. 39% of survey respondents said that the age range at which it would be difficult to change jobs is 40-45. More than three quarters (78%) also felt that over 50’s have fewer promotional opportunities than their younger colleagues.
“This is a worrying finding,” said Kieran McKeown. “People are living longer and the statutory retirement age is increasing, so a 45 year old could realistically be working for at least another 23 years. In our experience, there are many people changing jobs and even careers in their 40s and 50s. I made a career change in my late 40s so I would therefore encourage people not to be disheartened by this finding and if you want to change jobs, look at the options and go for it. It may require some upskilling, but experience and maturity count for a lot.”
The survey found that people in Ireland (89%) feel that there is an onus on employers to provide staff with training on issues relating to equality and discrimination.
About the survey
The Matrix Workplace Equality Survey was conducted online in October 2018 among 1,019 people (60% female, 40% male) working across a broad range of industries and sectors.
Matrix Recruitment Group is one of Ireland’s leading recruitment firms. Established in 1998 and with offices in Dublin, Waterford, Carlow, Athlone and Galway, Matrix specialises in a number of job categories including accountancy, financial services, engineering manufacturing, quality & laboratory, supply chain, HR, office support and sales & marketing.
www.matrixrecruitment.ie. @Matrixrecruit #MatrixEquality
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