Men and Women Disagree About Gender Bias – And Few Are Talking About It
Interaction Associates has wide experience working with global companies on strategies to advance women into top leadership ranks. In an effort to gather more data about challenges and obstacles, we recently conducted a Pulse Survey of 420 businesspeople. The results point to an opening for making progress in bridging a critical gender gap on the job.
Women and Men Don’t Agree
Perhaps not surprisingly, our survey indicates that men and women see workplace gender issues very differently. For example, when asked if "people in my organization are comfortable talking about gender bias and its impact with organization executives and leaders,” twice as many men as women responded that this described their organization “extremely or very well.” Additionally, while nearly half of women say that gender bias exists in their organizations, less than 1/3 of men agree.
Where We Agree: Our Discomfort Level
Perhaps even more important is the finding that fewer than 30% of all respondents, men and women, are comfortable talking about gender bias with executives or colleagues within the workplace. This is a serious obstacle to moving the needle on women in leadership.
What To Do Next
To make progress addressing gender bias, organizations must bring both men and women into the dialog by shifting the conversation from a problem solving frame, which typically invites blame and defensiveness, to conscious collaboration. Interaction Associates’ comprehensive approach includes targeted leadership development, facilitated conversation, innovation techniques like design thinking, and strategic culture change. Read more here.
More on Our Pulse Survey on Women in Leadership
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