A change of heart

For International Women’s Day, Talent Glue has conducted it’s latest research of over 1,200 people exploring trends and differences in the relationship that women have with their workplace when compared with their male colleagues.

In the current private sector workplace, men are more engaged with their employer than women.  This is a significant change when compared with three to four years ago, when women were more likely than men to feel engaged.  Women are now less passionate about their work than before the start of the economic downturn.  Conversely, their male colleagues are more likely to want to stay than three years ago.

So why the change of heart?  The majority of workers, both male and female, want a good deal with job security and competitive pay.  Men perceive the important aspects of their deal to be improving.  When compared with before the economic downturn, they are more likely to feel they have opportunity to grow in their job.  They tend to be more positive than women about fair pay, good promotion prospects and being treated fairly by their manager.  Women have seen fewer positive changes in their relationship with their employer.  Fewer now feel that they are paid fairly for the work they do or that people who perform well are financially rewarded.

It’s not all bad news for women though.  The research indicates that women are perhaps gaining a more personally rewarding deal, if not financially.  More women are finding roles with variety, somewhere they can focus on customer service and achieve better worklife balance. They are also more likely than men to feel their managers show concern for their wellbeing, that senior managers acting with passion for what the organisation’s does and they can be trusted to lead the organisation in the right direction. So, although the economic climate has had a negative impact on some women’s views of their employer, perhaps their rules of engagement are changing to a more personally fulfilling one – something we, as HR practitioners, may want to keep track of in our organisations.

Our research was conducted with a representative sample of workers in UK private sector industries.  We used the same sampling panel as in 2008 to gather views. Over 1200 people were surveyed and compared with c1750 surveyed in 2008.