Despite the fact that workplace gender equality is getting the media attention it deserves, women continue to be less than enthused about their current work situations when compared to their male co-workers.
According to a recent survey from Mercer Sirota, female employees are significantly less satisfied and engaged with their organizations compared to their male counterparts. Measuring employee happiness based on three factors — achievement, camaraderie and equity – Mercer Sirota found that 43 percent of women are satisfied with their organization in matching pay based on performance, while slightly more than half of men (51 percent) are satisfied with their pay based on performance.
(Mercer Sirota is the result of Mercer’s December 2016 acquisition of Sirota Consulting LLC, a global provider of organizational assessments, surveys, technology and analytics.)
The Mercer Sirota research surfaced three major areas with significant gaps for women in the workplace: fair and transparent pay, defined career paths, and inclusive work environments. The survey also found that keeping employees engaged not only leads to long-term employment, but also growth within an organization. Women have a focus on longer term career and collaboration not seen in men, according to Megan Connolly, senior associate with Mercer Sirota, which is something employers need to realize.
“Although the drivers of engagement and satisfaction may vary from company to company, our research clearly illustrates that fair and transparent pay, defined career paths, and inclusive working environments are the key to engaging women employees,” Connelly says.
Other findings found trust to be the key factor in terms of sharing ideas and innovations. For example, one in four female employees is apprehensive to report an ethical concern without fear of repercussions, which creates mistrust between employees and employer.
“Understanding the unique needs of women and taking proactive steps to create more fulfilling work experiences may be the key to solving the puzzle that continues to confound organizations, which is how to increase performance through gender parity,” says Pete Foley, principal at Mercer Sirota.