All Talk And No Action With Gender Equality In Business

All Talk And No Action With Gender Equality In Business

While many are all gung-ho in their chatter about having more females in C-suite level positions, when push comes to shove, it comes to a whole heap of nada.

Emma Mackenzie
Posted by Emma Mackenzie

“A lot of intention, but not much action,” laughed Ava Lawler, managing director of Weber Shandwick and director of IPG’s Women Leadership Network at Weber Shandwick.

The notion comes off the back of Weber Shandwick’s recent study about gender equality in the higher ranks in office.

There’s a growing focus on gender equality and promoting gender diversity. Executive creative director Dee Madigan yesterday aired her gripe many conferences don’t have a gender diversity in their speaker line-ups.

The study from Weber Shandwick, entitled Gender Equality in the Executive Ranks: A Paradox – The Journey to 2030 saw many respondents believe we will achieve gender equality in the workplace by 2030.

However, no one’s getting there if no action is taking place.

Lawler explained how the study looked at the forces that were pulling organisations back from prioritising gender equality, and those other factors – like the social and economic forces – pushing organisations to prioritise gender equality.

As a business leader herself, Lawler recognises the pressures many high-up people face to meet stakeholder demands and the like.

“What we see in those forces pulling people back is that focus on some of the other business priorities dominating CEO time,” said Lawler.

The debate on gender equal salaries also demonstrated fatigue in the industry, according to the study.

“And there is definitely a sense that women are struggling to crack through that glass ceiling.”

An interesting point to note is the change in attitudes towards when various age groups believe we’ll make gender equality a real thing.

For millennials, there’s a much stronger expectation to have gender equality in the C-suite in 2030 with 84 per cent.

Some 74 per cent of gen X’s believe it will happen by 2030. And 66 per cent of Baby Boomers believe it will exist.

Check out the infographic below for more info.

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