Listen to this story
A report conducted by LinkedIn has revealed what we’ve known for decades; gender inequality exists in the workplace. The findings of The Entitlement Gap highlighted that in addition to the current gender-based wage gap, women have been socially conditioned to feel less entitled to workplace opportunity than their male colleagues. In turn, this heightens barriers to progression, pay and gender equality.
The study was Australian specific and found that 42 per cent of women believe that they receive less opportunity when compared to men. Seven in ten (68 per cent) respondents felt there are certain workplace scenarios where women feel less entitled than men.
Family responsibilities still affect career progression
How women combine their career and motherhood continues to be fundamental challenge, with 40 per cent of women stating that familial responsibility interrupts career progression. Lack of organisational support was the main reason respondents gave for their unhappiness with career advancement.
The study showed that there are a number of factors underpinning this frustration. Women continue to experience ‘expectation bias’ around maternity leave and a flexible schedule. They also face decreased expectations regarding their contributions to the firm, commitment and ability to accept responsibility and challenges when they return from maternity leave.
This directly affects career progression, with 44 per cent of respondents saying there had already been a point in their career when they had been forced to lower their career expectations and goals. The average age at which women lower their expectations is 33.
Women also believe the burden of the ‘mental load’ they carry impacts their career progression. They felt they carried the mental load even in households where household and parental task are fairly evenly split. Nearly half of women (47 per cent) still suffer from inner conflict about being career-focused.
Promotions and pay rises still an issue
Women continue to feel less entitled than men asking for promotions and pay rises. On average, women wait 13 months after the moment they feel they deserve a pay rise to ask for one. Men wait for 10 months. Over half of respondents (56 per cent) said they had never negotiated pay when getting a new job but only 32 per cent of men said the same.
The main reason why women don’t request a pay rise with a new or current employer is they are uncomfortable asking. A quarter (25 per cent) of women have never negotiated a pay rise with their current employer and over three quarters (78 per cent) have never and would never ask for a pay rise outside of their annual review.
Director of LinkedIn, Prue Cox, commented that workplaces can combat this ingrained inequality by updating practices to reflect a more supportive employer. “Employers can help by implementing progressive workplace policies offering more flexibility to women and also embracing inclusive hiring practices,” Cox said.