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Survey Results: How Women Are Treated by Coworkers vs. Clients

76% of women do not feel treated equally

We recently ran a two-question poll on Fishbowl asking our female identifying users in the Advertising and Consulting industries how they feel they are treated at work – both by their coworkers and their clients. More than 1300 women participated across 200 different companies and in roles ranging from recent graduates to C-Suite Officers. We found that across both industries, 76% of women do not feel treated equally when compared to their male counterparts. This appears to be regardless of role, age, expertise and skill set within their industry.

76% of women feel they are treated different compared to male coworkers

Expertise is often questioned

When asked how women feel they are treated by clients, nearly 50% said they were not treated as equals. Specifically, women cited that their expertise was questioned more often. Many of the women in these industries are closest to the conversations in media related to #metoo and women that are leading those movements forward. They are up close and personal with the coming changes and it makes the contrast of this feeling stronger. In male dominated rooms women referenced that they find themselves questioned because they are the only woman in the room. This leads to a misrepresentation of authority and glancing over during important conversations where women may have the expertise.

45% of women feel that their expertise is questions more often than males.

What is the male perspective on gender bias?

After surveying women, we were curious to see what men in those workplaces were doing to address the present gender bias. We ran a one-question multiple choice poll targeting males in the Advertising and Consulting industries. More than 300 men participated across numerous companies and also in roles ranging recent graduates to C-Suite Officers. The question was: How do you view or address gender bias in your workplace?

Findings show that around 75% of men say that they actively work or support equal treatment between genders at work. Within this breakdown around 45% of men responded that they actively work to ensure equal treatment at work and around 30% supporting management enforcing equal policies. This left 25% who stated that they don’t think about gender bias or believe that it exists.

Contrasting results

Notably, the results from these two polls show that the intent of men supporting equal treatment between genders in the workplace does not translate into action, with 76% of women responding that they are not treated equally. This could be due to significantly different perspectives on how to support gender equality between men and women, including executives not compensating women equally. Regardless, the changing landscapes in the social sphere related to movements like #metoo has at the very least brought about a greater consciousness of the issues of gender bias and catalyzed important conversations.

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