Men tire of gender talk
A survey has found that half of men in corporate Australia are fatigued by gender equality.
Half of all males with a white-collar job in a recent survey said they are tired of the gender equality discussion in the workplace.
They believe reverse discrimination is occurring, with companies somehow unduly favouring the marginalised half of the workforce.
The gender pay gap is the highest in the white-collar world, sitting at about 25 per cent in the professional, scientific and technical industry. Additionally, women are under-represented in senior leadership positions relative to men.
The survey, commissioned by workplace consultancy The Dream Collective, examined the attitudes of 1,000 Australian men in these industries.
It found 48 per cent claimed they are fatigued by the notion of gender equality and 52 per cent feel they are being discriminated against on the basis of their gender.
Dream Collective director Sarah Liu said the research shows mens’ perception and reality are not in sync.
Despite the fear of reverse discrimination, the survey found men also do not believe they are worse off at work. Over 50 per cent said their opportunities for advancement remain the same as two years ago.
“What that really signals is that people don’t really have a sound understanding of what privilege is because for people with privilege, taking away that privilege feels like discrimination,” Ms Liu said.
Dr Meraiah Foley, deputy director of the Women, Work and Leadership Research Group at the University of Sydney, says men whole feel gender equality is discriminatory would not see it as a problem that needs addressing.
Men may not perceive that gender inequality is a problem because they are less likely to experience it, Dr Foley says.
“If you’re less likely to perceive that inequality exists, or is a problem, you may perceive that those measures are some form of reverse discrimination, rather than simply trying to rectify a historic inequality,” she said.
Experts say that while some men may feel fatigued by talking about gender inequality at work, women are even more sick of experiencing it.