Gender gap in the workplace

Men and women can agree on one thing when it comes to work: long-term job security is highly desirable. Other than that, a new survey finds that there aren’t a lot of similarities.

The ICMA International survey, sponsored by Randstad Canada, found that views of what makes an employer attractive varies greatly between the genders.

According to those surveyed, women say they prefer flexible working arrangements (49 percent more important vs. men), accessibility (28 percent more important), pleasant working atmosphere (23 percent more important), competitive salary (19 percent more important) and good work-life balance (17 percent more important). Men say they prefer financially sound companies (42 percent more important vs. women) with strong management (37 percent more important) that offer global career prospects (86 percent more important) and good training (17 percent more important) when seeking an employer.

Randstad Canada President Jan Hein Bax says that compared to last year’s results, the responses have shown how significantly the workforce has evolved over the past year. “Men have reprioritized, replacing company image and innovation with a financially strong company and the possibility of international career prospects. Women, on the other hand, have replaced the need for accessibility with flexible working arrangements as one of their top priorities when searching for an employer.”

According to Bax, these findings contain practical insight for leading employers interested in attracting Canada’s top talent. “It’s important to know what your workforce wants, to recognize the key demographic differences in this regard, and to respond accordingly. Employers need to define who their desired employee is, understand what that employee wants and create specific messages that speak to those wants. Employers must also respond to their employees’ needs and expectations and leverage those differences in order to maximize the available talent,” adds Bax.