86% of Women believe gender diversity policies are important

The latest Robert Walters study has shown that 86% of women believe gender diversity policies are important but 50% believe their employer does not have one.

  • 77% of women felt that gender diversity strategies should be set out in their workplace induction
  • 84% felt that businesses should have policies to develop a workforce that represents the wider community
  • Women favoured individualised mentoring (82%) over gender specific networking groups (49%)

About the research

Original research from Robert Walters into the working habits and attitudes of professional women has revealed that there is a widespread perception that employers do not have a clear approach to gender diversity.

The research, which surveyed over 100 female professionals from a range of fields across Ireland, revealed that over three quarters of women believed that gender diversity strategies should be made clear during workplace induction and 84% believe that businesses should have strategies in place to make their workforce reflect the diversity of the wider community.

The research also gave insights into the kind of gender diversity strategies professional women believe help them to achieve positive career development. 82% responded that individualised mentoring or sponsorship was an effective strategy, a significant amount more than the percentage who believe gender-specific networking groups are effective (49%).

Maternity policy can make or break a company’s appeal to professional women

The research also revealed the importance female professionals place on maternity policies and which strategies are most effective at encouraging women to return to work after having children.

37% of women surveyed stated that they would be willing to change jobs to move to an employer with a better maternity policy, highlighting the important of an effective strategy for accommodating professionals who wish to have children if businesses want to retain them long-term.

Flexible working arrangements were regarded as the most important strategy to accommodate working parents with 86% of those surveyed considering them important. Maternity leave that extended beyond statutory entitlements and part time hours on returning from maternity leave were also considered important by 60% and 59% of women respectively.

Article Published: 08/03/2017