COVID-19 Exacerbates the Workplace Gender Divide
The Beamery Talent Index highlights critical gender gap that must be addressed as employers face expected mass departures of talent.
London and San Francisco - June 2nd 2021- Beamery, the leading Talent Operating System, today released new findings from The Beamery Talent Index, which reveal stark differences in the opinions of US and UK - male and female - employees amidst COVID. Despite enjoying more optimism in their COVID-19 workplace experiences over the past year, men across both countries are more likely to consider leaving their employers in the year ahead. The Beamery Talent Index also revealed that whilst 72 percent of respondents will be going back into the office at least partially, more than half (59 percent) are considering quitting their jobs this year. This, however, is where the shared reality ends in examining the experiences of male vs. female colleagues amidst the pandemic.
Men Have More Influence than Women in Return-to-Work policies
The Beamery Talent Index identified that a higher majority of men (78 percent) believe they had a say in how their employer set up their return-to-work policy vs. their female counterparts (55 percent). This is further reflected in the level of happiness cited around a return to the workplace with 63 percent of men happy to return, whilst only 40 percent of females are. In contrast, more women indicated a higher preference to abolish the physical office entirely, reinforced by the statistic which shows that less than half of the women asked (47 percent) are keen to get back to the office whilst more than half of the male respondents are (60 percent).
Yet, More Males Plan to Resign This Year
Both US and UK male employees cited that they were more likely than their female counterparts to consider quitting their job this year.
- 66 percent of US men vs 51 percent of US women
- 51 percent of UK men vs 45 percent of UK women
“The past year has changed attitudes towards how the traditional workplace should function, forever,” said Abakar Saidov, Co-Founder and CEO at Beamery. “The companies that demonstrated agility have not only fared well but also experienced growth. As the return-to-work policies start to roll out, the focus now needs to switch to the crucial message of ‘inclusion’. DE&I isn’t only about encouraging a diverse workforce, it’s about ensuring teams are heard and that protocols are in place to create a high-performance environment in which they will thrive. Employers need to be very deliberate about ensuring workforces are included in ongoing conversations as working patterns are refined; it’s making the right decision here that will ultimately lead to longer term success.”
Younger Employees Keen to Return - but are More of a Flight Risk
Interestingly the Beamery Talent Index also highlights that different age groups are at odds with each other, as much as the male and female counterparts are. The survey findings have also revealed key age divides that may surprise employers: whilst younger employee groups (age 35-44) are more intent than their older counterparts (age 45-54) to return to the physical office, they are also feeling the negative impacts of lack of face time on their careers.
In addition, in the UK, the 18-34 year old group was the most likely to:
- Want to return to work (46 percent vs. the national average of 37 percent)
- Believe that a lack of facetime over the past year has negatively impacted their promotion opportunities (62 percent vs. the national average of 43 percent)
Whilst in the US, the 35-44 year old employees - a subset of which have recently been dubbed “geriatric millennials” - were the most likely to:
- Want to return to work (63 percent vs. the national average of 54 percent)
- Believe that a lack of facetime over the past year negatively impacted their promotion opportunities (75 percent vs. the national average of 64 percent)
Ready to return to the office but frustrated by stalled career progression goes some way to explain why 18-34 year olds in the UK and 35-44 year olds in the US are those most likely to have considered leaving their jobs in the past year.
“Employers who have yet to figure out how to personalize talent engagement, and to do so successfully at scale, will now be even further behind the talent management curve as we move out of the COVID-19 pandemic,” continued Saidov. “Those who have taken, or will find, the time to map out a transformed talent strategy that factors in gender and age insights will be in a far stronger position to both deal with, and recover from, the mass talent exodus anticipated this year.”
Download the Beamery Talent Index for free here.
Beamery’s Talent Index 2021 report and survey findings were conducted in partnership with Atomik Research. The survey results were gathered online from April 8-12, 2021 among 1,000 office workers in the U.S. and 1,000 office workers in the U.K.. The survey also compared how different genders, age groups and geographic regions viewed their workplace’s pandemic response. Atomik Research is an independent creative market research agency that employs MRS-certified researchers and abides to MRS code.
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