Empowering women in the workplace

women on the phone

86% of females in New Zealand feel that women are under-represented in leadership positions in business according to the latest whitepaper from Robert Walters. However, organisations who offer a mentor or sponsorship programme at senior management level could succeed in facilitating women in their careers and improving gender diversity.

Gender bias is still prevalent in many workplaces today. Managers who empower their employees by focussing on their strengths will achieve greater results and help develop high-potential workers into leaders.  

The latest whitepaper from Robert Walters, Empowering Women in the Workplace, explores the career priorities of professionals working in accounting, administration, marketing, finance, human resources, information technology, management, supply chain and legal. Drawing on the perceptions of gender diversity in the workplace, this whitepaper provides further recommendations on how organisations can develop the future female leaders of tomorrow.

Key motivational drivers

The whitepaper begins by exploring the career priorities of working professionals today and the preferred path to progression. Feedback from the study highlights the need for organisations to identify these motivating factors early in the recruitment process. The study also found that for both males and females surveyed, high salary was the lowest priority when it came to their careers.

Gender bias is still prevalent in many workplaces today.

The Gender diversity debate

Only 30% of New Zealand respondents agree that women make up more than 20% of leadership positions in their organisations. 

86% of New Zealand female respondents feel that they are unrepresented in the workplace (across Asia Pacific, the overall percentage was 70%). The main reasons for this differed between the two genders, with more than half of male respondents (52%) citing family pressure, compared to the majority of women surveyed (54%) believing that it was a preference by management to promote men over women.

What’s next?

Leaders at the top of every organisation should drive the development of the future female leaders of tomorrow. The majority (78%) of New Zealand professionals surveyed think that a mentor or sponsorship programme at senior management level is a key driver to facilitate women in their careers – but it is important to structure these programmes to ensure the correct steps are covered.

Other key findings

  • 33% of female respondents believe that their organisation has clear gender diversity policies compared to 44% of male respondents.
  • 67% of male professionals surveyed in New Zealand feel that there are strong female role models in their organisations, compared to 57% of New Zealand female professionals.
  • 51% of New Zealand professionals believe that offering senior management networking opportunities would be a good way to develop female leaders in their organisation.