- Men are more likely than women to see women’s subtle career challenges as a myth, according to findings in a new Morning Consult study conducted in partnership with Prudential Financial.
- The study found that men were more likely to dismiss claims about women's negative workplace experiences as myths, including: that it is harder for female leaders to recover professionally from mistakes; that men were more comfortable promoting other men to leadership positions; and that women don't have the support they need at home to succeed in their careers.
- The results also noted that men were more inclined to see marriage, children and other life occurrences as an opportunity to get ahead in their careers, while women had more mixed responses. For example, having children made men more likely to want to advance, while women were nearly tied between advancing their careers and taking a step back.
This study suggests that workers' assumptions may still need to be challenged regarding gender. A recent Boston Consulting Group (BCG) report found that although nearly all of the companies studied (98%) invested in D&I, only a quarter of the employees actually benefited from these initiatives — and that the biggest barrier to their advancement was 45-year-old male bosses.
However, additional research indicates that some men feel at a loss as to how to help. A Fairygodboss survey found that men want to support women and help them advance in their careers, but 56% admitted that the biggest barrier to helping was that they don't know how to start. Some reasons behind the uncertainty included: "women don't seem to want my help" (20%), "I'm afraid I'll face backlash" (17%) and "women can be difficult to work with" (12%). However, most men surveyed understood they could help women by advocating for them; mentoring, promoting and hiring them; and asking women how they want to be helped.
A closer look beyond just gender at how different groups women are fairing under D&I initiatives shows bleaker results. According to a report from the National Women's Law Center (NWLC), black women had less access to training and mentorship opportunities, faced more barriers to advancement than white women and men, and experienced more incidences of sexual harassment and microaggressions than their white counterparts. Organizations that have D&I programs may need to ensure programs focus on the full breadth of inclusion when implemented.