Male managers block gender balance progress – CMI research

Despite ongoing efforts and activity towards gender equality, workplace gender equity remains elusive, according to analysis by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). The research has revealed that passive and even active resistance to gender equality, particularly from male managers, is prevalent.

The findings indicated that males are significantly more likely than females (33% / 13%) to feel too much effort is being focussed on ensuring a workplace gender balance is achieved, suggesting resistance to gender equality.

The report comes less than a week after what were widely viewed as sexist remarks were made at an AGM directed towards the Aviva chief executive, Amanda Blanc. It suggests that the UK has a long way to go towards gender-balance across organisations said CMI CEO, Ann Francke: “Sexist remarks directed at Amanda Blanc at Aviva's AGM are just the latest highly public example of the inequalities that exist at every level of organisations. We have a long way to go still, yet CMI data is starting to pick up resistance and perhaps even early signs of backlash amongst many men.

“Men have the potential to be great allies in achieving gender balance. But there has been too little effort devoted to communicating the enormous benefits that greater equity offers including for better business and organisational performance as all talent is better developed and deployed.”

The CMI survey suggests clear opportunity divides between women and male managers with children. It found that having a child is the primary driver for the differential experience of work and exclusion from opportunity for women. Nearly half of managers (47%) felt they have been overlooked for at least one opportunity because of their identity, most notably promotions (31%) and salary rises (29%).

84% of the managers told CMI that hybrid working has benefited them, and made it easier to balance work and home life commitments. 60% of the managers said flexible working had opened up job opportunities where it would have been difficult to balance work and home life commitments if these roles had been office based.

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