Just how toxic is a masculine culture in the workplace?

Business Insights

MORE men than women believe their workplace has a masculine culture that makes it harder for women to professionally progress

Hephzi Pemberton, Founder of Equality Group discusses why diversity at senior level is crucial for inclusive workplace cultures

In 2018, only 9.7% of leadership positions on FTSE 100 boards were occupied by women. Similarly, a quarter of FTSE 350 companies had only one women on their board with a handful of companies not having a single women. There is so much discussion on a global scale around equality for women within the world of work but we are yet so see any notable improvements. This, in part, is due to the fact that male dominated workplace cultures are both a cause and a consequence of the lack of gender equality at management and board levels yet is often overlooked.

This research conducted by Equality Group, a consultancy that helps companies attract, retain and develop diverse talent, unveils the importance workplace cultures have on either promoting and retaining diverse talent, or inhibiting and alienating it.

Key research statistics:

21% of Brits state that their workplace environment is dominated by a masculine culture that makes it harder for women to professionally and socially progress

  • 31% of millennials agree
  • 26% of Londoners agree

28% of Brits don’t want to report incidences at work because they are worried it will negatively impact their career progression or create an uncomfortable working environment

  • 30% of women agree
  • 35% of millennials agree
  • 36% of Londoners agree

21% of Brits state they regularly experience harassment/ bullying / inappropriate behaviour within the workplace

  • 27% of millennials agree
  • 28% of Londoners agree

Within the UK workplace, it is evident that men significantly outweigh women in management and decision making positions and because of this, it is of critical importance to ensure there is zero tolerance for gender based misinformation as to the confines of inappropriate behaviour. This is both with regard to what constitutes as inappropriate behaviour in the workplace and moreover the spectrum of solutions available in dealing with each and every manifestation of it.

Given the acute underrepresentation of women at board level and beyond, until the gender deficit is balanced, it is only by bringing men into the conversation that true processes can be implemented to eliminate the presence of inappropriate behaviour across the nations workplace culture. Men and women alike need to understand that it is not enough to simply want a positive and progressive culture, you have to acknowledge your own power in creating it.

Hephzi Pemberton, Founder of Equality Group is of the opinion:

“This data is a timely reminder of the need for more inclusive and positive workplace cultures. As a society, we should be striving to stamp out harassment, bullying and inappropriate behaviour in the workplace by creating and implementing positive policies. While the situation has almost certainly improved, there are still a number of steps that workplaces need to take to improve their working culture. Hiring in diverse talent at senior levels, in terms of women and BAME professionals, to bring new ideas to boards and leadership teams across the country can undoubtedly change working cultures for the better”.

About Equality Group

Equality Group harnesses the power of diverse leaders for Finance, Technology and Social Impact. They change the business landscape by widening the range of exceptional candidates and offering them unique leadership opportunities. Their consultancy service helps companies attract, retain and develop diverse talent, which our Executive Search service headhunts.