Designing a gender-appropriate working enviroment

Ottawa| Only one in five board members in Canada’s top 500 companies is a woman, and only 10% of the highest-paid jobs are held by women. This is the result of a new survey conducted by recruitment company Randstad Canada.

According to the same survey, 71% of all employees assume that gender-equitable management teams promote the success of a company despite the existing gender difference. And companies also often come to this conclusion, but sometimes find it difficult to implement.

But what are the reasons for the status quo of gender distribution in management positions? – Carolyn Levy, President of Randstad Technologies, says: “If  we  look  at  gender  discrimination,  41%  of  men  feel  it  plays  a  role, but  that  is considerably up  to  62%  of  women  feeling  that  way”.

Another factor that is likely to be relevant to the less important role played by women in management positions is that women often have a large amount of “care work” in addition to their job – for example, they take care of children, grandparents or the household. As many as 50% of the female employees surveyed believe that this situation prevents them from taking up management positions in the company. And 26% of women in the same survey said that they have taken very few risks in their professional careers, which means that they are less willing to take risks than men.

So what does all this mean for companies? According to Levy, women’s career opportunities are likely to improve if men help with caring work and the home more than before. According to this, it is necessary to create a climate in companies that favours this in order to make the working enviroment more gender-friendly.

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