A NEW study reveals that men are oblivious to the inequality women face in Australian workplaces, according to recruitment agency Hays.
The survey conducted ahead of International Women's Day found that while men dominate senior positions, there is effectively no difference in male and female ambition for these roles.
However, despite this imbalance, men seem unaware that a problem even exists with 83 per cent believing the same career opportunities are open to equally capable colleagues regardless of gender.
This is despite 89 per cent of the 603 Australian men and women questioned saying that the most senior person within their organisation is male.
Hays Australia & New Zealand managing director Nick Deligiannis says misguided conceptions held by men are hindering the promotion of gender equality in Australia.
"We have a lot to celebrate here in Australia on International Women's Day, but many Australians would argue that progress towards workplace gender equality can still be hindered today by people, more often than not men, who fail to see any problem," says Deligiannis.
"It is difficult to see how gender parity can be accelerated when many of those in positions of influence do not see any inequality issue to begin with."
While 43 per cent of women and 44 per cent of men said they had aspirations to reach a senior position within their company, the survey showed that there were serious blockades impeding the development of women.
For instance, only 50 per cent of women and 62 per cent of men said their organisation has formal gender diverse policies and practices in place.
Additionally, 91 per cent of men misguidedly believe that there is equal pay between genders in Australia.
A report released this week by the Australian Government Workplace Gender Equality Agency found that there is still a 17.3 per cent full-time gender pay gap in Australia.
According to Hays, only 51 per cent of women feel comfortable to self-promote and communicate their ambitions in the workplace.
Deligiannis says this statistic is harmful to women in business and acts as an impediment to achieving gender equality.
"Being able to promote your achievements is a key part of a successful career development and reaching such roles," he says.
"When only half of women feel they have the opportunity to self-promote and communicate their ambitions, employers must do more to ensure opportunities are communicated to all and recognised and draw out the skills and ambitions of those around them."
The theme for the 2016 International Women's Day is 'pledging for parity', with a call for both men and women to pledge to take a concrete step to help achieve gender equality more quickly.
Help us deliver quality journalism to you.
As a free and independent news site providing daily updates
during a period of unprecedented challenges for businesses everywhere
we call on your support