Osborne White Paper: Women In The Workplace

Osborne wanted to find out more about women’s views on women in the workplace and so surveyed 962 working women from across Ireland. The study, commissioned by Osborne, has found that over two thirds of working Irish mothers believe it is possible to ‘have it all’ and juggle the work / life balance successfully. 62% of the women surveyed are working mothers, with almost half working 40 hours a week.

Childcare problems and children being sick have caused over half of women surveyed issues at work, with 42% saying that although they try to juggle work and home, they often feel that either the quality of their work or the quality of their parenting has suffered. 75% state that flexible hours and less expensive childcare would contribute to an easier work / life balance, as on average, after completing a 40 hour week in the workplace, nearly half of working mums then take on sole responsibility for the workload at home.

80% believe having children affects how women participate in the workforce and 64% stated that having a family hampers a woman’s career progression, with a further 47% believing that being a working mother and of a certain age (56%), affects the likelihood of landing a dream job. Almost half of those surveyed have never asked for a raise or a promotion. Are women really confident in their role as working mothers and do they perceive their value in the workplace as less than others?

Among the issues facing working women, gender discrimination was very low on the list. 77% of working Irish women believe that men and women are treated equally, and 65% state the pay gap between men and women does not exist in their sector. However, there is some discrimination between working mums and other female colleagues. 45% surveyed believe that their workload increased due to the strict timing schedules of working mums in their workplace, and over a third find it unfair that working mothers take time off or have more flexibility.

Other study insights included:

  • Nearly 50% of participants were aged between 31 and 40 years old, with administration and secretarial and HR and recruitment the most popular work sectors for the respondents
  • 51% were at the level of experienced (non-manager position)
  • Almost 32% were in their current roles between 1-3 years
  • 31% were receiving a salary of between €20,000 – €29,999
  • 68% of women feel that there is opportunity for promotion within their organisation
  • 35% believe that it is highly likely that a woman would be promoted into a senior management role
  • 62% of women believed that education played the most important role in career progression
  • 69% believed that women in leadership roles were common in their field
  • 92% agreed that women want jobs with more responsibility
  • 82% believed that gender equality isn’t as big of a concern for men as it is in workplace
  • 64% of women believed that certain industries and positions are more appealing to women
  • 48% of working mothers said that they didn’t share the childcare/home work load 50/50 with their partners
  • 52% believed that being a working mum didn’t affect landing a dream job
  • 54% believed that they are where they want to be at this stage in their career
  • 52% of women are happy within their current roles but would consider an alternative
  • 73% agree that a team environment satisfies their current role with 45% saying that salary levels dissatisfies them the most
  • 56% believe that age is an determining factor in landing your dream job, whether it’s too old or too young
  • 48% of women have said that they have never asked for a raise
  • 59% have never asked for a promotion