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Two Steps: Gender Research

Does everyone agree?

13/12/2018, Budapest – There are some things that everyone agrees on: In Hungary, equal proportions of female and male employees (63%) believe that women and men have to work together to ensure that women has equal opportunities on the workplace. Already, many people find that the situation has improved over the last two years, with respondents having eight years of schooling noting the greatest improvement. Over the next two years, employers will be faced with this challenge: employees expect continuous improvement. WeAreOpen’s new Two Steps programme seeks to help organizations create an open corporate culture.

Over the last four years, there has been a 20% increase in the proportion of respondents who believe that changes in the Hungarian workplace to ensure equal opportunities for women and men are urgently needed. There is no significant difference in the proportions of men and women expressing this opinion. Where there is a difference however is in the perception of the current situation: women more frequently see that someone in their family has been discriminated against on the basis of gender. Thus, a quarter of women, but scarcely one-tenth of men, have heard of such cases from a family member.

In Gemius’ and WeAreOpen’s representative study – conducted throughout Hungary among employees over the age of 18 and having internet access – sought to determine what progress women are seeing as well as to learn about the experiences of men. Based on the results of this study, WeAreOpen will be launching the Two Steps programme, which will include customised questionnaires and presentations for companies. These are intended for companies, women and men who wanted to work together to implement positive change.

Where do we stand now?

Interest in this topic is increasing, both at the global level and in Hungary. Indeed, among Hungarian employees over the last two years, 60% of respondents experienced some change at their workplace directed at ensuring equal opportunities for men and women. “These changes affect everyone. The fact that more and more efforts are being made to ensure that women have equal opportunities doesn’t only have a positive impact on women’s lives. We have to realize what issues are being raised for whom as part of this process, and this means that we need dialogue and data as well. This is what we want to provide space for with our Two Steps program”, explains Melinda Miklós, managing director of WeAreOpen.

What women and men agree on

  • Over 60% of both women and men agree that it is also beneficial to men if women have access to equal opportunities at work.
  • Four out of five respondents believe that no one should be given preferential treatment based solely on their gender.
  • Essentially the same proportions of men and women are concerned about work-life balance.
  • Over two-thirds of respondents said that it is important to enable men to stay home to care for their young children if they wish to do so.
  • There are now only very few people who believe that the reason why there are fewer women in leadership positions is that women are not ambitious enough (16%).
  • Over the last two years, 60% of respondents experienced some change at their workplace directed at ensuring equal opportunities for men and women. The most popular change was more family-friendly opportunities (e.g. flextime). However, between 25 to 50% of employees still do not know whether or not some of these family-friendly options (e.g. extended vacation time, childcare services, etc.) are available at their workplace.
  • In companies that are working to achieve a greater gender parity, 71% of staff approve of these changes.
  • In companies where there has been increased dialogue about the need to ensure equal opportunities for women and men, these changes have been welcomed by 64% of respondents.
  • Only 9 out of 100 respondents said that they were glad to hear the opinion from others that equal opportunities for women are detrimental to men.

From a woman’s perspective

What we can see is not only that women hear about cases of discrimination more often, but also that they are much more likely than men to see this as a common occurrence.

  • Indeed, 42% of men but only 28% of women believe that women today are not discriminated against in promotions. An interesting finding is that, over the last two years, a greater proportion of women than men were given promotions, but this only meant that they were assigned more motivating tasks. Women received increases in pay much less often than men, although they requested them with the same frequency.
  • Only 34% of men but 46% of women believe that there are considerably more prejudices against female executives, and that this is the reason why there are fewer of them. The fact that the number of women in leadership positions is increasing does not bother most people, but opinions are divided: 29% of men and only 17% of women are displeased by this.
  • Among family-friendly options, remote work and childcare services at the workplace were substantially more important for women than for men.

From a man’s perspective

Men are concerned about combining their role as fathers and their jobs.

  • Among male respondents, 67% agreed that it is important to enable men to contribute to family care responsibilities, and to even spend part of their time staying at home to care for their young children if they wish to do so. However, half of them did not know whether or not their company would support this with paternity leave. More men than women expected that their company should provide them with this option.
  • More men than women worked either at companies or in jobs where their working time was not flexible.

In the first video campaign of the Two Steps program, well-known women and men spoke about the study and shared their own experiences. Follow the videos on our WeAreOpen YouTube channel. If you want to voice an opinion or share your experiences, the questionnaire developed by WeAreOpen and Gemius is still available on our website.

Data-driven companies

Making the survey and the Two Steps program especially timely, recent Hungarian Central Statistical Office data indicate that near 60,000 jobs are unfilled in the private sector alone, resulting in tremendous competition for new staff and to retain existing employees. The assessment of employee satisfaction is a key marker in this respect, and it also helps if a company creates an equitable corporate culture where employees are judged fairly, based solely on their actions and performance. Ensuring that men and women enjoy equal opportunities leads to more successful companies and happier, more committed employees.

Already, almost 20 small enterprises have measured themselves using the questionnaire developed by WeAreOpen and Gemius. WeAreOpen is making the questionnaire available free of charge to the small and medium-sized enterprise sector, which – according to the most recent Hungarian Central Statistical Office data – employs nearly 3 million people. Larger corporations are also encouraged to get involved, and may commission a more detailed questionnaire.