Marking International Women’s Day, the TEAM LEWIS Foundation and UN Women’s HeForShe programme reveal new challenges women are experiencing in 2023.
TEAM LEWIS Foundation teamed up with UN Women‘s HeForShe programme this Women’s History Month to conduct research on new challenges women are facing in 2023. Despite breakthroughs for women in senior management roles, job security, and financial compensation, progress is still slow or even regressive.
In an increasingly digital world, HeForShe engages men and boys in support of gender equality, women’s empowerment, and breaking barriers in the workplace, STEM & online. TEAM LEWIS is a marketing, communications and digital services consultancy operating throughout Asia, Europe, and North America.
The 2023 study found that despite progress that is being made for women career-wise, more men reported receiving a bonus over the last year than in 2021, whereas women experienced the reverse.
A third of the women surveyed experience lack of female mentors and role models in the workplace, with an even more significant gap in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields – in tech, only 5% of leadership positions are held by women. 26% of women stated that they have felt prevented from pursuing a job due to a lack of role models, demonstrating the importance of representation in disrupting gender barriers, with one third citing a lack of opportunities or visibility.
For younger women just entering the workforce from the ages of 18 – 24, this issue is more evident, with them being the most reluctant to consider a career in STEM. On a positive note, younger men are also noticing this trend, with 45% of men aged 18 – 24 sharing that they believe there is a stigma around women in STEM.
In addition, it was found that online spaces are unwelcoming to women, with 47% of men and 53% of women agreeing that the number of sexist comments seen online makes them uncomfortable. 35% of women reported they do not feel comfortable in online spaces where men are more prevalent. Three in ten women also confirmed sexism has prevented them from joining some online communities.
“As women continue to participate in STEM and online spaces, men need to step up and become better allies. Our research shows that when it comes to solving issues in the workplace, men don’t believe it is their responsibility to act. One-third of men feel it is not their place to challenge gender-based discrimination in the workplace. Nearly a third of men feel that it is not their place to challenge sexism online. That isn’t good enough. It is time for men to take accountability and speak out against sexism both in the real world and online,” commented Inez Odom, Vice President, Professional Development at TEAM LEWIS.
A total of 6,003 respondents across nine countries including Singapore, the US, the UK, Germany, France, Mexico, and China were surveyed in February 2023.
Read the full report here.