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Gender discrimination is biggest barrier to work promotions for women

In a survey, both male and female professionals said demanding family commitments was the reason for not taking up the opportunity.

Image: Women men office image via Shutterstock

NEW SURVEY RESULTS have shown that 71 per cent of female professionals feel there are barriers to promotion in the workplace with 29 per cent of women saying that gender discrimination is the biggest barrier for them.

The research, unveiled by Microsoft to mark International Women’s Day, found that 28 per cent said that prioritising of home life was the most significant obstacle to promotion while 27 per cent, most of whom were under 35, said it was lack of support for working mothers.

The study explored a wide variety of areas including participant’s views on professional development and networking, boardroom quotas and attitudes toward promotion and the perceived barriers for women in the workplace. Conducted among a nationally representative sample of Irish adults, with both male and female professionals surveyed, the study found that female professionals 71 per cent are much more likely than their male counterparts 52 per cent to feel that there are barriers to promotion in the workplace.

The survey shows that 39 per cent of women would be in favour of binding quotas for female participation on corporate boards as opposed to 17 per cent of men. Despite the lower levels of support among men, when asked if they felt such quotas would have an impact, 40 per cent of male professionals and 48 per cent of female professionals thought that they would.

Among those who do not undertake professional development however, some stark differences emerge: women are more likely to be time poor with 33 per cent saying they simply do not have the time, compared to 10 per cent of men.

Career satisfaction is higher among men with 53 per cent of men choosing not to undertake professional development as they are satisfied with where their career is going as opposed to 27 per cent of women.

Looking at the impact of family life on work, the study shows that this is an issue for both men and women. When asked about the main reason for not following through on a promotion opportunity in the workplace, 32 per cent of both male and female professionals cited demanding family commitments as their reason for not taking up the opportunity.

Read: Gender equalisation car insurance policy comes into effect today>
Read: Europeans say ethnicity and sexual orientation main reasons for discrimination – survey>

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