It’s true, Australian women are working harder than men.
At least that’s according to new data from Gartner’s Global Talent Monitor measuring the “discretionary effort” male and female employees are putting in at work.
And i’m torn if evidence demonstrating women are working harder is a good thing or not. Sure, it further highlights the value women are bringing to employers across the country (and presents more reason to better support the female workforce and close the gender pay gap), but it may also suggest women feel they have to work harder.
According to the Gartner data for Q4 2017, female employees are putting in a 7 per cent higher discretionary effort than their male colleagues, at 24.2 per cent compared with 17.4 per cent.
Gartner’s Aaron McEwan, an HR advisory leader, doesn’t mix his words in suggesting what this means. “Women are working harder than men and now appear to be the driving force behind corporate performance.”
Meanwhile in Australia, ‘Work/life Balance’ is the leading “driver of attraction” for an employee, followed by ‘Location and Respect’. Internationally, the three leading drivers are ‘Compensation’, ‘Work/Life Balance’ and ‘Stability’.
As for ‘drivers of attrition’ in Australia, ‘People Management’ leads the way, followed by ‘Future Career Opportunities’ and ‘Recognition’.
All these findings come from the Gartner Global Labour Market Survey, made up of more than 22,000 employees across 40 countries.
The research finds Australia in general is powering on with effort, despite effort levels declining internationally. It also finds that a “high discretionary effort in organisations” can lead to 23 per cent higher business performance.
McEwan suggests organisations think harder about what they’re doing to support engagement and productivity. They must not “gloss over the desires of their hardest working employees,” he said.
So what can employers do? Garter suggests the following, which all sound like excellent ideas.
Ensure equal pay across the entire workforce. Ensure employees have the right knowledge on how pay decisions are made with plenty of transparency. Make sure the rewards both men and women can achieve reflect the goals they achieve.
Enable greater flexibility. This will not only enable greater career opportunities for women, especially those juggling work with external responsibilities, but for everyone in the organisation. However, Gartner also noted companies must also remove any stigmas about flexible work, for both men and women.
Engage in rewards conversations. Gartner recommends opening opportunities and avenues for employees to better discuss how they feel about their individual rewards, what they want, and what more the organisation can do to help them achieve satisfying rewards at work.