Business of Men

Infographic shows gender equality still a big problem


Even though we are now in the 21st Century, workplace equality is unfortunately still something we have to aspire to… not something we have even nearly achieved yet. Even in so-called ‘developed’ countries there is a significant gender pay gap, with women earning less than men for the same jobs.

And on top of that there is an inequality in female representation in many jobs, and in particular at executive and board level.

Representation in the Fortune 500

Research from who created this infographic reveals that in the top companies in the Fortune 500, the problem of representation is a significant one.

Company executive female representation at Walmart is just 28%, at ExxonMobil only 7% and at world-beating Apple a mere 9%.

And at board level the problem is just as prevalent. Of the 10 top Fortune 500 companies examined, no board had a higher female representation than 27% (Walmart), and it dropped to 14% at car manufacturer Ford.

Quotas aren’t good enough

Some companies have quotas they need to satisfy in terms of representation. Many FTSE 100 companies in the UK have a voluntary target of 25% for instance. But that just isn’t good enough. Why not? Simply because that isn’t equality; that is still a huge imbalance.

How big companies can help

Big companies, such as those in this infographic in the Fortune 500, and those in the FTSE 100 can help to accelerate gender parity at work. And not just at executive and board level, and not just in the biggest companies.

But to do this they have to aim for 50/50 representation. How can 25/75 be called fair? People may say that’s an initial target on the way to…blah, blah, blah.

If we don’t aim for equality we won’t get it. And the big companies can help by leading by example.

If the most successful companies in the world have an equal number of men and women working in their various departments, as well as on boards, other companies will see that equality needn’t cost them money – which is always the bottom line.

How can you help?

  • Find out how equal representation is in your company

If you work in a small company this should be pretty easy, but if not don’t be afraid to ask your HR department. If there is obvious underrepresentation flag this up with your manager, as the issue may not even have occurred to them. Alternatively mention this to HR or the person or department in charge of recruitment. Making the problem known is the first step.

  • Speak up if you see inequality

If you see that a woman is being overlooked for a promotion – or if you yourself are – speak up. You may help out the person and the company by doing so.

  • Practise what you preach

If you have responsibility for hiring or promoting make sure you remain conscious of equal representation. This way you can actually start bringing about change yourself and help your business progress.

Morgan Franklin ladies-and-gentlemen-of-the-board-1


About Morgan Franklin

Morgan Franklin is a freelance writer and designer who works with media around the world. He is interested in many subjects but at the moment largely covers gender equality, business ethics and the environment.

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