Most men believe gender equality is good for economy finds Fawcett Society

report notebook Only seven per cent of men believe they would lose out if society was more equal, a survey from the Fawcett Society has found.

In a survey of over 8,000 people, the majority of men were found to support gender equality, however six in ten respondents said men in top jobs will not make room for women unless they have to – 64 per cent of women and 55 per cent of men stated as such.

Sophie Walker, leader of the Women’s Equality Party, said the research demonstrates the need for decisive action: “It’s time for men to ‘lean in’ and help achieve gender equality.”

“Fawcett’s ‘Sex Equality – State of the Nation’ report confirms what WE already know: that senior leaders continue to block women’s progress, in spite of overwhelming evidence that more women at the top benefits individuals, businesses and the economy as a whole. WE call on people of all genders to support us in making this a priority in May’s elections.”

 Sam Smethers, Fawcett Chief Executive said: “A majority of people clearly believe that when it comes to the crunch, men won’t move over unless they have to. This is why we need positive action and why quotas would make a difference.”

She said many men continue to join WE in order to actively participate in progressing gender equality: “WE have already recruited hundreds of men – thought leaders – to our Party. They realise it’s up to them to create change, and one of the ways they are helping achieve this is by backing WE.”

Founder WE member Maurice Biriotti, CEO of specialist business services provider SHM Ltd, said: “Equality in the workplace is an ethical issue, but everyone knows there’s a powerful economic argument too. Any organisation needs talent to thrive, and ignoring or disadvantaging half the population makes no sense. Most smart companies know this. Men need to do their bit.”

Walker added: “WE are delighted that Fawcett has affirmed all of our key policies: unconscious bias training for managers and the removal of harmful employment tribunal fees which are a barrier to women bringing sex discrimination claims; the use of quotas to get more women on boards; and a move to ‘flexibility by default’, requiring all jobs to be advertised on a flexible basis unless there is a good business reason not to.”

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