A newly-published report from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), titled ‘A Blueprint for Balance: Time to Fix the Broken Windows’, has delved into the current state of gender diversity throughout the workforce, as well as analysing best practice across a number of industries, and has come up with some rather alarming insights.

According to the report, in which the CMI surveyed 856 management-level professionals to seek their opinions on gender diversity in the workplace, 85% of women and 80% of men reported witnessing gender-discriminatory acts at work. Additionally, just 25% of respondents said that their peers and senior leaders ‘actively and visibly champion gender initiatives’.

The issue is present not only among upper management however, as only 19% of junior and middle managers believe their senior leaders are committed to the target of gender balance in their organisations; with no evidence of such policies taking shape in the workplace, this mentality all-too-easily filters down through the ranks.

The case as to why business leaders should be keen to tackle this issue, other than the obvious moral argument of course, is clear, as a recent study by management consultants McKinsey found that on a global scale, the most gender-diverse businesses are 21% more likely to financially over-perform than their peers. However despite this fact the CMI’s survey revealed that a lowly 8% of managers know the size of their organisation’s gender pay gap, while 41% claim that their organisation does not have a gender pay gap at all; to highlight the severity of this blatant misconception, CMI research has found the average difference in pay between male and female managers is around 27%.

Ann Francke, chief executive of the Chartered Management Institute, said of the report and its findings, “Achieving gender diversity is a priority business performance issue – gender-balanced companies financially far outperform their peers.

“While we’re starting to see change, progress is stuttering. Employers have great intentions but our report shows there’s still a yawning gap between the rhetoric and the reality of work for too many women. Leaders and their managers need to fix the ‘broken windows’ – the range of everyday biased attitudes, actions and practices that make possible the bigger systemic problems that women face. Only then will organisations build inclusive cultures where women, other minorities, and men, can thrive.”

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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