This pessimistic outlook comes as many companies are trying to focus on implementing diversity and inclusion strategies in the workplace.  

New research carried out by INvolve, a global network and consultancy championing diversity and inclusion, finds that just over one in ten (12 per cent) consider their workplace to display gender equality.

More dire readings indicate that under one in ten (8 per cent) report they have a clear understanding of their company’s gender equality targets, showing a clear lack of connection and communication between professionals and their firm’s values.

This comes as recent news suggested progression on this front with the majority of FTSE 100 companies achieving the target of having at least a third of female board members.

However, founder of INvolve, Suki Sandhu, warns that this target is far from representing equality across all areas of business:

While most within the FTSE 100 itself have reached the 33 per cent target set by the Hampton Alexander review, we can’t help but feel there is a ‘one and done’ situation occurring here which has been exacerbated by the pandemic. 

Post-2021, very few FTSE 100 companies have publicly available or external data which showcases a determination to push the boundaries of the Hampton Alexander review by creating ambitious new targets and aims to drive gender parity. It appears that because of the pressure of the COVID-19 pandemic, the emphasis placed on gender diversity and closing the gender divide has fallen by the wayside. But at what cost?

Mr. Sandhu further warned that many companies are not setting themselves targets in order to achieve gender parity in the workplace:

Women’s progression in the workplace has fallen behind by at least a generation.

Only 2,500 companies met the encouraged deadline of gender pay gap reporting in April and, as we can see by our data, only 1 in 10 people believe there is gender equality in their place of work.

Without ambitious targets in place, the disparity women are facing, and have faced for decades, is likely to become entrenched and our businesses, society and economy will suffer because of it.

A separate poll conducted by the consultancy found that over half of respondents (59 per cent) feel that the gender pay gap will never close.

This was shown to even be prevalent at board level with a recent study highlighting that female directors within the FTSE 100 are currently earning around 73 per cent less than male directors.

Darren Hockley, Managing Director at DeltaNet International, stated:

Despite discussions of the gender pay gap over recent years, and the introduction of gender pay gap reporting, it’s clear that FTSE 100 organisations are still not doing enough to tackle the issue. If a woman is a female board member, why is she not getting paid the same as a male counterpart in a similar role?

The fact is that unconscious bias remains, and organisations must tackle diversity and equality issues by supporting staff with training. HR must work more closely with executive teams to address equal and fair pay to stamp out social injustice.


*To obtain these results, INvolve, supported by Censuswide, surveyed over 1,000 people.