These stats highlight exactly why gender equality is stalling at work

Lianna Brinded
Head of Yahoo Finance UK
Leadership, money, wage, and gender equality concept depicted with female and male figurines standing on top of coins. (Getty)

Time and again, we have rich, deep data sets showing how there is a global gender gap — not just in pay but in equality of opportunities, work, healthcare, and many other areas.

The annual benchmark World Economic Forum (WEF) report on gender equality showed that the global gender pay gap will take 99.5 years to close and said that the prospects for economic opportunity have actually worsened in the past 12 months for women at work.

But in order to truly tackle the issue, there needs to be acknowledgement there is a problem and then take steps to change the status quo. This is especially pertinent to those in power, which by statistics — due to the “pipeline problem” that companies have where the higher up you go, the fewer women there are in senior positions — are men.

The latest set of data from global professional services recruiter, Morgan McKinley, shows why change is so slow — essentially most men at work don’t think there is a problem or a gap.

Read more: Three official reasons why there's a huge global gender pay gap

The Morgan McKinley’s ‘Gender Equality in the Workplace’ survey of 2,500 global employees working in the financial services, professional services and commerce sectors, shows the gap between male and female respondents’ opinions.

In the UK, it came joint worst (with Singapore) in terms of perception of whether male and female employees are paid equally at their companies at 34%:

  • Men: 61% believe male and female employees are paid equally. Women: 25% think salaries are equal.

  • Men: 63% feel their current employer does enough to ensure gender equality at work. Women: 32% felt the same way.

  • Men: 71% think they are presented with equal opportunities to progress their careers as their female colleagues. Women: 33% believe they have the same progression opportunities as male colleagues.

Read more: Helena Morrissey: Many companies will have to 'go backwards to go forwards' to close the gender pay gap

“The route to both achieving gender equality in the workplace, and ensuring those within businesses feel there is a commitment to this, is a deep-rooted issue which is clearly still some way off from being completely rectified,” said Darren Burns, operations director at Morgan McKinley UK.

“This research suggests companies have progressed, but it’s worrying to learn that there isn’t a level playing field in terms of equal career development opportunities. How can we ever solve an issue that involves different parties if one side does not believe there is a problem, or only sees it as a minor issue, while the other side perceives it as a large, continuing problem?”