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Fairygodboss: Despite #MeToo, Gender Inequality a Problem at Work

Topics: Data & Research
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According to a new report, the #MeToo movement hasn’t made as big an impact on gender equality in the workplace as we might have hoped.

Last year, Fairygodboss surveyed 502 women to learn about their experiences with sexual harassment at work. This year, they gave the survey again, and issued their findings as part of a report, Creating Gender Equality at Work in 2019.

Per the report:

More than a year after the #MeToo movement began surfacing in headlines, it continues to be a part of the national conversation. But we have found through our research that these conversations aren’t necessarily translating to actions.

…We were dismayed to learn that 57 percent of women feel that circumstances have largely stayed the same for women in the workplace in 2018, and that 70 percent of women believe that the #MeToo movement has made no impact at work.

Worse, in a separate study, Fairygodboss found that 17 percent of male respondents said “said they were less likely to engage with a member of the opposite sex as a result of the #MeToo movement.”

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Other Findings:

  • Women are more likely to promote women, and men are more likely to promote men. This tendency reinforces the opportunity gap, cutting off women from higher-level corporate roles. PayScale’s report, The State of the Gender Pay Gap 2018, showed that by mid-career, men are 70 percent more likely than women to be in executive roles. By late career, men are 142 percent more likely than women to be C-level executives or VPs.
  • Women still do the majority of household labor, according to these results. Sixty-five percent reported that they felt “solely responsible for household duties.”
  • Despite these findings, the majority of respondents were satisfied with their jobs. Most rate their job satisfaction at 4 out of 5. More than half reported high job satisfaction and 60 percent said that their employers treat women as fairly as men.
  • Women’s perception of gender equality at their employer was the biggest factor in their job satisfaction. Per the report: “93 percent of women who report gender equality at their workplace also report the highest level of workplace satisfaction.”
  • Other factors that increase job satisfaction for women: CEOs who support gender diversity, paid maternity leave benefits, work flexibility and salary.
  • Like other studies, Fairygodboss found a steeper gender pay gap for many women of color. White and Asian American women out-earned women of other races, on average.
Per Fairygodboss: “93 percent of women who report gender equality at their workplace also report the highest level of workplace satisfaction.” Click To Tweet

How to Find an Employer That Supports Gender Equality

There’s a lot women can do to create a supportive environment at their workplace, even if they’re not an executive or business owner. Fairygodboss’s recommendations include leveraging employee resource groups, celebrating their own successes and supporting other women through mentorship and sponsorship.

But what if you’re job searching, and not sure how to tell which potential employers are supportive of gender equality? Georgene Huang, CEO and co-founder of Fairygodboss, offered some suggestions.

“When determining if a potential employer would be supportive, it’s important for women to do research in order to get an idea of what the culture is like,” she told PayScale, via email. “There is a lot women can do online in order to find this information. Using platforms like Fairygodboss to read about what women are saying about a company is a good first step in getting an idea about workplace policies, benefits and cultures. I also recommend looking at a company’s leadership team and learning about their backgrounds as that can be telling about workplace culture.”

She continued: “Offline, women should consider informational interviews with current employees to get an understanding of the company. During the interview phase, you can also ask questions to get insight into the culture like, ‘Why do you like working here?,’ or ‘Can you tell me more about the office culture?.’”

For more information, including a ranking of the best companies for women in 2018, see Fairygodboss’s report, Creating Gender Equality at Work in 2019.

Tell Us What You Think

Does your employer support gender equality at work? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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