Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Do men want gender equality more than women?

Image: Swiss Economy Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann holds a bag with the writing 'equal pay day' as he speaks to members of the women's section of the Swiss Liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) on International Women's Day. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer

Magdalena Mis
Production Editor, Thomson Reuters Foundation
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Gender Inequality is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Social Innovation

Men in Britain are stronger supporters of gender equality than women themselves, with 86 percent believing women in their lives should have the same opportunities as they do, compared to 81 percent of women who think so, a survey showed on Monday.

Although seven out of 10 men believe a more equal society would be better for the economy, only 39 percent think they would personally benefit if men and women in Britain were equal, the survey by women's rights charity the Fawcett Society, said.

Seven percent of men think they would lose out if society was more equal.

"We won't achieve equality without engaging and persuading men," Sam Smethers, the Fawcett Society's chief executive said in a statement.

"We have never had a better opportunity to create a more equal society. But despite this, stubborn barriers remain."

Women make up 47 percent of Britain's workforce, but only 34 percent of managers, directors and senior officials are women. Only 7 percent of engineers and one fifth of IT technicians are women, according to official data.

According to the survey, 16 percent of recruitment managers are against gender equality and 14 percent believe they would lose out if men and women had equal opportunities.

"Whether it is conscious or unconscious bias, this is discrimination in action," Smethers said.

"This is bad for individual employers, because they are not recruiting or promoting the best people, and bad for the economy as they are holding women back, failing to use their skills and expertise."

According to the survey 6 in 10 people believe that men who hold top positions wouldn't make room for women unless they had to.

"This is at the heart of it. Despite the fact that men are overwhelmingly pro-equality a majority of people clearly believe that when it comes to the crunch, men won't move over unless they have to," Smethers said.

British Prime Minister David Cameron vowed in July to end the country's gender pay gap in a generation, calling it a "scandal" that a woman in Britain earns only 80 percent of a man's pay.

Large firms in Britain will be required to publish the average pay of their male and female employees in an effort to pressure them to pay women more.

Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Equity, Diversity and InclusionSocial Innovation
Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

More women are stepping into high-productivity service jobs, says the World Bank

David Elliott

July 18, 2024

3:37

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Sign in
  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum