Re:Gender works to end gender inequity and discrimination against girls and women by exposing root causes and advancing research-informed action. Working with multiple sectors and disciplines, we are shaping a world that demands fairness across difference.
The Women in the Middle East Workplace 2011 survey measures women’s perceptions, attitudes, experiences and satisfaction with various elements of their role in the Middle Eastern workplace, particularly regarding their treatment relative to that received by their male counterparts.
The latest research, gauging the perceptions and attitudes of working women on their role and experience at their work environment, was recently carried out by the Middle East’s number one job site, Bayt.com, and research specialists, YouGov.
The interesting accumulated results derived from ‘The Women in the Middle East Workplace - 2011’ survey reveal various elements of women’s role in the workplace, focusing on numerous aspects including their opinions, approaches, capabilities and contentment.
The survey also gave researchers a thought-provoking insight into women’s views in regard to their treatment in comparison to their male counterparts.
To start off with, despite working the same amount of hours as men, a third (31%) of women feel they receive less pay than their male colleagues rising to almost half among GCC nationals and Asian expats.
Also, more than half (52%) of married working women reveal they earn less than their spouse, with just one in five (19%) who claim to earn more. The comprehensive survey also shows that besides earning less pay than men, about a third (31%) of working women think they have less chance of being promoted than their male counterparts, again rising to about a half among GCC nationals.
However, after disclosing that information, interestingly 25% of those same working women did state that they would prefer a male boss than a female boss. This is probably due to the fact that most career women are used to working under male management, with three quarters (76%) of working women currently reporting to a male boss.
Having said that only 7% of working women feel that they work less hours than their male colleagues, and 17% claim they work longer hours while a majority of 63% feel they work almost an equal number of hours as their male colleagues.
Additionally, while 7% of the women, within the Middle East and North Africa, stated they worked in a ‘women only’ work setting; 84 % said they worked with a mix of both genders, 9% said that although their work place has a mix of both men and women, they are segregated from their male colleagues – according to the research.
Even though there are perceptions of lower pay, two thirds (68%) of women feel they are treated equally to men at work and less than one in seven (15%) think they are treated unfairly compared to their male colleagues; while nearly three in five (57%) who feel that the system of appreciating, recognising or rewarding employees is based on performance alone and not on gender.
Almost 23% (three in five) feel that prospects for women have substantially improved in their country of residence, but one in five (19%) do not think there have been sufficient improvements.
Top benefits offered to working women are paid maternity leave according to 42% of working women in the region, family health insurance at 32% and training at 26% coming to the conclusion that women in government/semi government roles or internationally owned companies are better off with less chance that none of these benefits are offered.
When it comes to maternity leave, over a quarter (27%) of working women are not satisfied with the maternity leave and benefits available to them, with 25% stating they get a maternity leave period of three months or less.
The main barriers facing women in the region seem to be family ties and priorities at 24% and traditional society stereotypes and taboos at 14%. This is supported by the fact that half (17%) of single working women think their future marriage plans will affect their career choices to a large extent.
Interestingly, having children is seen as less disruptive than marriage with only a quarter (27%) of working women with children who think their kids have negatively impacted on their career.
The top reasons given by women for wanting to work are to become financially independent (52%) and to be able to support themselves or their household financially (48%). The importance of salary is also highlighted by the fact that a higher salary would be enough to influence over two thirds (69%) of women to change their job.
However, women are clearly working for more than just money with almost two thirds (63%) who would continue to work even after achieving all their financial goals, and only15% saying they wouldn’t.
Data for the ‘The Women in the Middle East Workplace - 2011’ survey series was collected online between 26th April and 23rd May, 2011, with a total of 2347 women participating from across the MENA region – UAE, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, North Africa: Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia. A mix of local, Arab expat, western and Asian nationalities – all 18 years and above – were included in the survey.
Social networking site LinkedIn generated a "networking savviness index" and determined that, on the whole, men are more networking-savvy then women, but that varies from industry to industry. Women are especially networking-savvy in industries such as alternative dispute resolution, tobacco, alternative medicine, ranching, and international trade.
From LinkedIn's blog:
Women are more savvy networkers in the ranching industry. Men are more savvy networkers in the cosmetics industry. Wait, what? That was exactly our reaction when we saw the initial results for our latest data insights blog post on the differences in social networking behavior between men and women.
The overall result in the US is that men are overall more savvy networkers than women, but the real insights start to surface when you start slicing and dicing by industry and company.
There are 29 companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 that are all male in decision-making roles, with no women on the board of directors or among the top five highest-paid officers, according to Bloomberg Rankings. They range from America's largest maker of uniforms, Cintas (CTAS), to the company that produces Animal Planet and the Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications (DISCA).
There are 47 companies, or 9.4 percent of the S&P 500, that have no women on the board of directors, according to Bloomberg Rankings. This list further narrowed that number to 29 companies by excluding companies with at least one woman among the highest-paid executives listed on the company proxy. For example, Philadelphia-based retailer Urban Outfitters (URBN) did not make our ranking because while it does not have any women on the board of directors, two of the highest-paid executives on the company proxy—Wendy Wurtzburger and Wendy McDevitt—are women.
Since 2007, McKinsey has been conducting research about gender diversity in top management and corporate performance. These insights have led to the publication of four Women Matter reports. The 2010 Women Matter report confirms that women are still underrepresented in boards of corporations, although improvements have been seen in this area in some countries. At the same time, gender diversity within executive committees remains very low.
From the report summary:
The 2010 Women Matter report confirms that women are still underrepresented in boards of corporations, although improvements have been seen in this area in some countries. At the same time, gender diversity within executive committees remains very low.
And yet gender diversity in the top management of corporations remains a key topic: three years after the first Women Matter study, the link between the presence of women in executive committees and better financial performance is still valid.
The 2010 Women Matter study provides a focused analysis on how to achieve gender diversity at top management level. Its findings are partly based on a survey we conducted in September 2010 of about 1,500 business leaders worldwide across all industries, from middle managers to CEOs. The survey concretely reveals that a majority of leaders, both men and women, now recognize gender diversity as a performance driver, while also showing that actual implementation of gender-diversity measures in corporations remains limited.
This is not surprising as the achievement of gender diversity is not at the top of – nor even on – companies’ strategic agenda: only 28 percent of respondents identified this as a top-10 priority in their company. This is a concern, as the new McKinsey study shows a link between having gender diversity as a top priority and achieving women representation in C-level positions (CEO, COO, CFO, etc.). Moreover, the companies that have placed this topic high on their strategic agenda implement on average more gender-diversity measures.
The study finally identifies those measures that tend to be more effective in increasing women representation, highlighting in particular the impact of CEO commitment and women’s individual development programs.
Bank of America may owe some of its success to having a large female workforce. More than half of its nearly 250,000 employees are women, nearly half (49%) of its managers are women, and, most strikingly, six out of its 15-member executive management team are women, the highest proportion among the 10 biggest financial institutions in the United States. The company also routinely ranks among Working Mother’s 100 Best Companies for Women and Best Companies for Women’s Advancement.
More than half of its nearly 250,000 employees are women, nearly half (49%) of its managers are women, and, most strikingly, six out of its 15-member executive management team are women, the highest proportion among the 10 biggest financial institutions in the United States.
The bank supports women through several different channels, including Bank of America’s LEAD for Women, an employee resource group for women that is dedicated to promoting women’s professional development. In addition, structured mentoring programs for women exist in most departments, with some aimed at middle managers and others targeting women at all levels.
The company also sponsors, in conjunction with Columbia University, “Greater Returns: Accelerating Your Career,” a two-day seminar for high-potential women within Bank of America. But the most important factor in creating an environment in which talented women can excel and propel their careers to the top is the commitment of CEO Brian Moynihan.
Research from Catalyst and McKinsey shows that companies with significant numbers of women in management have a much higher return on investment than those that swath their smart women in metaphoric burkas. A study published in October 2008 by CERAM Business School found that firms in the CAC40 (the French equivalent of the Dow Jones Industrial Average) with a high ratio of women in top management showed better resistance to the financial crisis. The fewer female managers a company had, researchers found, the greater drop in its share price since January 2008.
A London Business School study found that when work teams are split 50-50 between men and women, productivity goes up. Gender balance, the research argues, counters groupthink – the tendency of homogenous groups to staunchly defend wrong-headed ideas because everyone in the group thinks the same way. This conclusion is supported by the work of professors Anita Woolley and Thomas Malone, whose recent survey (published in the Harvard Business Review) demonstrates that teams that include more women post higher collective intelligence.
The Barbara Lee Family Foundation has conducted research every election cycle since 1999 to study women candidates for Governor and how the voters respond to these campaigns.
Key findings from the report:
After partisanship, likeability is the candidate trait that most strongly predicts the vote, especially for races with women candidates.
Being perceived as having and setting the right priorities forecasts likeability.This is true for women candidates of either party who ran against male opponents.
Problem solving is a critical trait for candidates in establishing likeability and winning the vote.
Strength is an important trait for women of both parties and also predicts likeability. “Strength” is a separate quality from “toughness,” which is no longer a priority for voters.
Being perceived as an agent of change enhances a candidate’s likeability, though in 2010 the criteria voters used in evaluating women candidates as “change agents” shifted dramatically.
Women candidates today are on equal footing with men in their ability to show mastery of the economy. Democrats overall were at a disadvantage on economic issues. 1
Women candidates have more strategic advantages related to their gender than in years past.
Voters judge women candidates more harshly — and penalize them accordingly — when they believe they are engaged in negative campaigning.
Young women are conflicted about women candidates. Independent women are more likely than Independent men to vote for a woman.
Looking ahead, woman vs. woman races pose new challenges and questions for women candidates.
In 2010, Lake Research Partners (LRP), a Democratic research and consulting firm, and AmericanViewpoint, Inc., a Republican firm, conducted a number of pre- and post-election surveys in ten states with gubernatorial contests. LRP and American Viewpoint conducted pre-election surveys among registered likely voters in the eight states with women gubernatorial candidates (Arizona, California, Florida, Maine, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Wyoming) and two states with only men gubernatorial candidates (Vermont, Wisconsin) as a control group. Post-election surveys were also conducted among general election voters in Arizona, California, Florida, Maine, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina,Wisconsin,Wyoming, and Vermont.
Hughes & Company led a bipartisan team of researchers who tracked the eight gubernatorial contests in which ten women were nominees of the major political parties, monitoring print and internet coverage, including news websites, campaign websites and blogs. In addition, the team collected copies of campaign commercials and radio and TV broadcast debates. Following the November elections, these researchers interviewed 67 individuals who participated in or observed those campaigns including candidates, campaign managers, finance directors, press secretaries, consultants, party officers, and reporters who covered the race.
In a massive job discrimination lawsuit against mega-retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the Supreme Court ruled in the retailer's favor, saying the plaintiffs had not shown justification for sweeping class-action status that could have potentially involved hundreds of thousands of current and former female workers.
The Supreme Court put the brakes on a massive job discrimination lawsuit against mega-retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc., saying the plaintiffs had not shown justification for sweeping class-action status that could have potentially involved hundreds of thousands of current and former female workers.
The 5-4 ruling Monday -- which addressed the claims in the lawsuit only in terms of whether they supported such a huge a class action -- was a big victory for the nation's largest private employer, and the business community at large.
The high-profile case-- perhaps the most closely watched of the high court's term -- is among the most important dealing with corporate versus worker rights that the justices have ever heard, and could eventually affect nearly every private employer, large and small.
"On the facts of the case," wrote Justice Antonin Scalia for the majority, the plaintiffs had to show "significant proof that Wal-Mart operated under a general policy of discrimination. That is entirely absent here."
He added, "In a company of Wal-Mart's size and geographical scope, it is quite unbelievable that all managers would exercise their discretion in a common way without some common direction."
While this particular class action has effectively ended, the individual plaintiffs could band together and file a series of smaller lawsuits aimed at individual stores or supervisors.
Four more liberal justices agreed this particular class should not proceed to trial, but criticized the majority for not allowing the female workers to move ahead with their claims under a different legal approach.
The company said it was pleased with the court's decision.
At issue was whether as many as 1.6 million current and former female Wal-Mart employees could make a unified claim of systemic discrimination, which they say has occurred over the past decade, at least. The plaintiffs alleged women were paid less than, and were given fewer opportunities for promotion than, their male counterparts. They sought back pay and punitive damages against the world's largest retailer.
A divided 6-5 ruling by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year had allowed the combined, multiparty litigation to move ahead to one trial, where a verdict against the company could result in tens of billions of dollars in damages.
The Supreme Court ruled only on whether the original lawsuit should be handled as a class action, instead of lower courts potentially being flooded with thousands of individual discrimination claims against the company. If the justices had ruled against Wal-Mart, permitting class-action status, it could have put severe pressure on the company to settle the claims out of court.
The lawsuit alleged the company's "strong, centralized structure fosters or facilitates gender stereotyping and discrimination." The workers who brought the suit also said women make up more than 70 percent of Wal-Mart's hourly workforce but in the past decade made up less than one-third of its store management.
The U. S. Office of Personnel Management report to Congress the annual progress under the Federal Equal Opportunity Recruitment Program (FEORP). In FY2010, the Federal workforce was 17.7 percent Black, 8.0 percent Hispanic, 5.6 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, 1.8 percent American Indian/Alaska Native, 0.7 percent non-Hispanic/Multi-racial, and 66.2 percent White. Minorities as a whole constituted 33.8 percent. Women comprised 43.9 percent of all Federal permanent employees, and Men comprised 56.1 percent, though the overall employment of women in the FW experienced a 0.3 percentage point decline from 2009 to 2010. The number of minorities at the Senior Pay levels increased by 9.4 percent, from 3,709 in 2009 to 4,059 in 2010. Women represented 31.2 percent of the Senior Level positions. The proportion of women and minorities in GS grades 13 through 15 increased by 7.9 percent and 9.4 percent, respectively.
OPM has the responsibility to annually report to Congress on progress under the Federal Equal Opportunity Recruitment Program (FEORP). The report is prepared in compliance with the law (5 U.S.C. 7201 and 5 CFR Part 720, Subpart B) and contains information on the representation of minorities within the Federal Government and best practices of Federal agencies.
From the Executive Summary:
Major findings in the FY 2010 FEORP Report are:
The number of minorities in the Federal Workforce (FW) increased by 5.0 percent from 616,457 to 647,588 in 2010, or 31,131 employees. The Federal workforce is 17.7 percent Black, 8.0 percent Hispanic, 5.6 percent Asian/Pacific Islander, 1.8 percent American Indian/Alaska Native, 0.7 percent non-Hispanic/Multi-racial, and 66.2 percent White. Minorities as a whole constituted 33.8 percent of the FW.
Women comprised 43.9 percent of all Federal permanent employees, and Men comprised 56.1 percent. The overall employment of women in the FW experienced a 0.3 percentage point decline from 2009 to 2010.
Representation of Hispanic men and women, Asian American/Pacific Islander men and women, and American Indian/Alaska Native men and women in the Federal workforce in 2010 remained the same as reported in 2009.
The number of minorities at the Senior Pay levels increased by 9.4 percent, from 3,709 in 2009 to 4,059 in 2010. Women represented 31.2 percent of the Senior Level positions. The proportion of women and minorities in GS grades 13 through 15 increased by 7.9 percent and 9.4 percent, respectively.
The number of clerical jobs declined by 1.4 percent, from 124,065 in 2009 to 125,784 in 2010. Meanwhile, the number of professional, technical and administrative jobs increased by 4.8 percent.
CareerBuilder surveyed more than 1,300 diverse workers to gauge how their work experience has evolved with their growing proportions in the U.S. workforce. The study focused on larger economies and workforces, targeting the top 20 markets in the U.S. by population. The results for six diverse segments - African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, women, workers with disabilities and Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender (LGBT) workers – were compared to non-diverse workers, defined as Caucasian males who are not LGBT, and not disabled. The national survey was conducted from February 21 to March 10, 2011. The survey findings point to continued inequalities between diverse and non-diverse segments in pay, career advancement and feelings of discrimination.
From the Executive Summary
Certain diverse segments ranked the same or higher than non-diverse workers in compensation, reflecting a
movement toward better equality in the workplace.
LGBT (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender) workers were the most likely to earn six figures, slightly outpacing non-diverse workers. Women were the least likely to earn six figures.
Disabled workers were the most likely to earn less than $50k, while Asian workers were the least likely of all segments.
Non-diverse workers and LGBT workers were the most likely to hold management jobs while Hispanic workers were the most likely to hold entry level/administrative jobs.
African American workers are the most likely to report feeling discriminated against in their current jobs, while Asian workers were the least likely to feel discriminated against among all segments, including non-diverse workers.
Asian and African American workers are the most likely to change jobs when the economy improves.
More than half of non-diverse workers feel diverse workers have a better chance of landing new jobs; one-third of diverse workers agree