Perks in the office? It’s all about boys and their toys

BrightHR’s Commercial Manager Joanne Lodge, discusses the disparity between men and women in the workplace and the perks on offer.

An image of men and women at a business meeting table to represent the gender pay gap.
Business Meeting – Provided by Shutterstock

Reports this month that show the gender pay gap has barely changed in the past four years, have caused many of us to reflect on the progression of gender neutrality in the workplace. Is sexism a thing of the past in today’s offices, or are we less progressive than one would hope?

Shockingly, new research from our ‘It Plays to Play’ study supports the latter. Despite employers increasingly offering perks as part of the job package – such as a playful, fun workspace, fresh fruit in the office and an annual Christmas party – women are more than 10 per cent less likely to receive out of salary perks or rewards than their male co-workers.

Specifically, 63 per cent of female employees don’t receive any perks in the workplace, with just 28 per cent claiming they received annual salary bonuses.

Despite just 40 per cent of men receiving out of salary perks, there was a worrying trend which showed male employees were twice as likely to receive added extras such as a company car or a paid for gym membership.

Unsurprisingly, women were favoured more when it came to extended maternity leave and flexible working hours, which poses the suggestion that those women without families potentially fall short when reaping the rewards.

The research has also highlighted an interesting question over whether the disparity is due to sexism in the workplace or whether men are in fact more motivated by perks than women.

We think having perks and rewards as part of your employee package is a great way to encourage and engage staff. These can and should be tailored to the individual, meaning employers can incentivise and drive their people to brilliance and success. It’s disappointing and worrying to see there is still such a significant gap between women and men’s salary perks.

Here at BrightHR, perks are part of the culture; after work drinks, socials, duvet days, fruit in the office or discounted gym membership. Perks should come in all shapes and sizes. Some people won’t be bothered about fruit but they may like the gym memberships, and whilst some love playstations, flexi-time may be the key for others.

It is clear that organisations should provide out of salary perks that motivate and support women, as well as men. Employers will reap the benefits as they’re more likely to retain their talented workforce.

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