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Diversity and inclusion in the workplace
Diversity and inclusion in the workplace

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4.2 Enhancing your awareness

Recent research

Although sex discrimination is a familiar topic, it is still something that many people experience in the workplace today. SME Loans (2021) surveyed 2000 employees in the UK on the topic of gender based discrimination, and unexpectedly found that more men (28%) than women (23%) felt they had experienced sex discrimination in the workplace, with women more likely to feel they were not taken seriously because of their gender, and men more likely to feel that women ‘get away with more at work’.

The survey also found differences between age groups:

Table 4
Age group % experiencing gender discrimination at work
18–24 28.2
25–34 38.4
35–44 30.4
45–54 17
>55 7.5

They also found regional variations, with over 34% of the workforce in Yorkshire reporting that they had experienced workplace gender discrimination, compared with 15.6% in Northern Ireland.

Gender pay gap

Since 2006, the Global Gender Gap index has been measuring the extent of gender based gaps among four key dimensions:

  • Economic Participation and Opportunity
  • Educational Attainment
  • Health and Survival
  • Political empowerment

The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report (2020) projects that the overall global gender gap will close in 100 years across the 107 countries covered continuously since the first edition of the report. Even more disappointingly, lack of progress in closing the Economic Participation and Opportunity gap (the most directly relevant to the workplace), means that it will now take 257 years to close this gap.

If you wish to look at the data for a specific country, profiles are provided for each of the 153 participating countries. See References for the link.

UK data

In the latest statistical release from the UK’s Office for National Statistics (White, 2021), the gender pay gap among full time employees was 7.9%. (7% in 2020 and 9% in 2019). It is important to note that these data were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of wages and hours worked and disruption to data collection. A larger difference was measured in employees aged 40 or over and for higher earners.