A study by Bain & Co. asked business people, at large organizations, who had better advancement opportunities, men or women? As you might guess, male and female responses differed significantly. Regarding lower level professional positions the perceptions of males and females were quite similar, with 90% of men and 85% of women indicating that both genders have an equal opportunity at a job. The differences begin to show up regarding middle management jobs where 81% of men said both genders have an equal chance but only 52% of women believed that to be the case. Further, 66% of men indicated that executive promotion opportunities were equal, but only 31% of women held the same position. The facts indicate that both sexes may be optimistic as women hold only 3% of CEO positions and just 13% of executive positions in the Fortune 500.
Additionally, while you may not have millions of employees, it’s a good reminder to check your pay and promotion practices to ensure that they are free of discrimination. If you don’t have a good base pay system in place, as well as an objective means to decide on raises, you may want to look into one. [Dukes v. Wal-Mart, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit]