What's the Problem?
Men aren’t talking about gender equality at work, what it means for women and certainly not what it means for men. Too often, men don’t feel able to say or do anything about it. Thinking “it’s not my problem“.
But women still earn 18% less than men – and the gap gets wider after children. Male managers are 40% more likely to be promoted than female managers. And UK mums and dads are the worst in the developed world at sharing their childcare responsibilities – for every hour women spend caring for children men spend just 24 minutes. The UK came 15th out of 15 countries.
A recent study found that men were twice as likely as women to have their request for flexible working arrangements rejected. Another survey showed that just 1% of men had taken shared parental leave.
We can change this. The more men talk about gender equality, the closer we get to making it happen.
Now isn’t that worth standing up for?
The case for equality
Happier, less stressed men
Studies show men benefit when they balance work and life. They smoke less, drink less, take recreational drugs less often. They’re less likely to go to A&E but more like to go to a doctor for routine checks. They’re also less likely to see a therapist, be diagnosed with depression or rely on prescription medication. Sociologist Michael Kimmel sums it up in his TED Talk, drawing on research from Catalyst and others.
Better boardroom decisions
According to UK Government research, companies with strong female representation at board and top management level perform better than those without. The same research found that boards make better decisions where a range of voices, including women’s, can be heard.
A fairer society
The UK Government’s equality strategy promises to help build a fairer Britain, prioritising equal treatment and opportunities for all. It highlights the need to change outdated expectations of women’s jobs and family roles, and a lack of flexibility in our systems of maternity and paternity pay.
Despite 84% of British businesses saying they support pregnant women and those on maternity leave, 77% of mothers say they’ve had a negative or discriminatory experience at work.