Women are working harder than men and now appear to be the driving force behind corporate performance.
That’s the word from HR advisory leader at Gartner, Aaron McEwan, who says that gender differences in the workplace have long been a topic of intense focus and speculation, but data from Gartner’s recent Global Talent Monitor report makes those differences clear.
The report reveals that women are the driving force behind growing effort levels in Australian workplaces as more female employees are willing to go above and beyond at work than their male colleagues.
Effort among Australian female employees is almost 7% higher than their male colleagues.
In 4Q 2017, female effort levels increased 1.6% to reach 24.2%, compared to just a 0.5% increase seen in male workers.
This is also at a time when global effort levels are in decline. Despite this, Australia is powering along with discretionary effort - increasing 1.4% in 4Q 2017; a full 5 per cent ahead of the international average, according to the data.
Moreover, Gartner data shows that high discretionary effort in organisations can drive up to 23% higher business performance.
In addition, while women are putting in more effort, they have also developed clear expectations of what they want from their employer.
Female workers are less satisfied with their rewards (28.6%) including health benefits, compensation and vacation, compared to men (29.5%). Perceptions of pay among women is also lower than in their male colleagues (57.3% versus 59.9%).
According to the data, the most productive segment of the workforce is also the most likely to leave. Intent to stay among male workers is currently 41.5% while female intent to stay is 40.5%.
McEwan adds, "Organisations really need to think about what they are doing to support the continued productivity and engagement of their female workforce.”
“They run the risk of losing their star performers if they continue to gloss over the desires of their hardest working employees.”
Gartner recommends organisations look at the following three areas:
Across the entire workforce, build foundational knowledge of how pay decisions are made, including transparency around internal and external factors that might influence pay within the organisation.
Use objectives to regularly define the most important ways employees can contribute to business objectives, alongside the expectations for their role.
Ensure rewards for both women and men are reflective of the goals they achieve.
Flexible work advances career opportunities for women by supporting employees’ work-life balance, which benefits all employees but especially women, who are particularly likely to juggle work with household responsibilities like child or elder care.
To effectively enable flexible work, however, companies must remove the stigma around it for both men and women.
Engage in rewards conversations
Empower employees to have a dialogue about how they feel about their individual rewards, what they want, and how the organisation can work towards realistic and achievable rewards that satisfy the workforce.
McEwan concludes, "Some boards and CEOs have already begun to place increased scrutiny on their diversity and inclusion efforts, with their sights firmly on addressing gender pay equity.”
“The time has never been better to address the pay disparity and reward those who are putting in the hard yards.”