‘Unconscious bias’ in workplace on gender roles, survey finds

·2-min read

Nearly half of workers still believe certain jobs are exclusively “male” or “female”, with many women put off applying for some vacancies for fear of being discriminated against, new research suggests.

Phone and electronics giant Samsung said its survey of 2,000 adults indicated that “unconscious bias” still exists in the workplace.

Only one in five respondents said they believed there was gender equality in their workplace, amid complaints that certain people were not put forward for opportunities, such as a project.

Almost one in five women questioned said they have not applied for a job for fear of being discriminated against because of their gender.

Almost two thirds said they believed the chief executive officer role was now gender neutral.

Office workers in the City of London (Philip Toscano/PA)
Office workers in the City of London (Philip Toscano/PA)

Charlotte Grant, head of inclusion and engagement at Samsung UK and Ireland said: “We are moving in the right direction as shown by this research, which is certainly encouraging.

“But there is still a long way to go to achieve total gender parity in the workplace.

“Companies have an active role to play in tackling this, creating a culture where conscious inclusion is encouraged and actively challenging bias where it exists.

“At Samsung, we believe equality and inclusion is fundamental in shaping a better future and our workforce should mirror our diverse customer base.

“Whilst we know there is always more to do, we are committed to putting this into practice.”

Dr Nilu Ahmed, a behavioural psychologist at the University of Bristol, said: “Gender bias remains prevalent across workplaces.

“Whilst men and women do apply for jobs differently, partly due to societal gender bias where women remain primary caregivers, women are more likely to seek flexible work, which is traditionally less well paid.

“Women also tend to apply for less senior jobs.”

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