New Research by Samsung Reveals Gender Equality Is A Reality For Less Than One In Five UK Workers

on May 19, 2021
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• Only 19% of Brits think there is gender equality in their workplace
• Whilst C-Suite roles are seen as gender neutral by the majority, the role of CEO is 9x more likely to be seen as a job ‘for men’ (29%) compared to ‘for women’ (just 3%)
• Almost a quarter (23%) associate leadership as a quality prevalent in men, compared to just 5% associating it with women
• 1 in 5 women in the UK (19%) have felt out of place at work because of their gender, with engineering, law enforcement and technology industries most associated as ‘for men’

LONDON, UK, 19 May 2021 – Nearly half of UK workers still see certain jobs as being exclusively ‘male’ or ‘female’ new research reveals. The study by Samsung Pioneers – Samsung UK’s gender equality platform – shines a spotlight on workplace gender stereotypes, with 44% of people still believing certain roles are suited to either men or women.


Less than one in five (19%) believe there is gender equality in their workplace. Not being put forward for opportunities, such as a project, was the biggest driver behind this, with women feeling this more acutely (42%) than men (35%) as did Millennials (52%) compared to those aged 45-54-year (26%).


Findings also revealed almost one in five (17%) of women have not applied for a job for fear of being discriminated against because of their gender.


Despite this, the research shows that progress is being made – with over half (62%) of respondents believing the Chief Executive Officer role to be gender neutral, and 68% finding those who break gender barriers in the workplace ‘inspiring’.


The Breaking Bias Research – commissioned by Samsung UK, surveyed 2,000 UK respondents on their opinions towards gender equality at work, including views on if certain jobs, industries, departments and workplace skills are ‘for men’, ‘for women’, or ‘gender neutral’. While a significant number of respondents believe the majority of roles and industries as ‘gender neutral’, the research highlights unconscious bias still exists in the workplace.


Charlotte Grant, Head of Inclusion & Engagement at Samsung UK and Ireland said: “We are moving in the right direction as shown by this research, which is certainly encouraging. But there is still a long way to go to achieve total gender parity in the workplace. Companies have an active role to play in tackling this, creating a culture where conscious inclusion is a part of everyone’s every day and where actively challenging bias becomes the norm.”


“At Samsung, we believe equality and inclusion is fundamental in shaping a better future and our workforce should mirror our diverse customer base. Whilst we know there is always more to do, we are committed to putting this into practice, most recently launching our Women@Samsung Employee Resource Group and rolling out conscious inclusion awareness training throughout our entire UK & Ireland business to advocate positive change.”


Skills in the workplace


When it came to skills in the workplace, the survey found men are four times more likely than women to have perceived leadership skills (23% vs 5%). According to the findings, women are associated with qualities such as empathy (45% vs 4% men), listening (39% vs 6% men) and understanding (33% vs 6% men), suggested ingrained gender stereotypes around workplace attributes are still prevalent in 2021.


Skills/qualities associated with men


  • Assertiveness (28%)
  • Leadership (23%)
  • Numeracy (13%)
  • Productive (11%)
  • Resourceful (10%)


Skills/qualities associated with women


  • Empathy (45%)
  • Listening (39%)
  • Understanding (33%)
  • Social skills (24%)
  • Organisational (23%)
(Above: List of top 5 skills most associated with men and women, in order)



Gender in job roles


While the majority of respondents view UK industries as predominantly gender-neutral, highlighting a more progressive shift in attitudes, engineering, law enforcement and technology saw the greatest disparity in terms of gender bias. In comparison, the leisure and creative arts industries ranked highly as the most gender neutral industries.


Industries associated with men


  • Engineering (33%)
  • Law enforcement/security (29%)
  • Trade (e.g. bricklayers, plumbers, etc.) (29%)
  • Technology (19%)
  • Finance (17%)


Industries associated with women


  • Fashion (30%)
  • Retail (14%)
  • Healthcare (14%)
  • Hospitality (13%)
  • Art and Design (11%)


Industries associated as gender neutral


  • Leisure (81%)
  • Performing arts (80%)
  • Law (79%)
  • Recruitment (79%)
  • Art and Design (78%)
Above: List of top 5 industries associated with men and women, in order



Male and female perceptions


Across all fifty jobs included in the survey, women were more likely than men to categorise careers as ‘gender neutral’, than their male counterparts suggesting variations in bias.


When it came to skills in the workplace, the research showed men viewed leadership as a ‘male’ quality more strongly than women (28% vs 20%), which supports the findings that the role of CEO was more likely to be associated as ‘man’s job’. Interestingly, a third (31%) of women agreed with this, highlighting internal perception can also be a barrier to women reaching senior leadership positions.


Samsung Pioneers – a platform for change


Samsung Pioneers is Samsung UK’s platform created to champion gender equality in the technology industry and advocate change, open to both men and women in the company to create a culture of advocacy and allyship. Most recent commitments to gender equality at Samsung UK & Ireland include:


  • A 50% female intake as part of its Emerging Talent programme, consisting of placement students and University graduates
  • Ongoing resources provided to female staff through its partnership with everywoman – a platform which connects women, businesses and organisations globally, to achieve more engaged, diverse, energised workforces
  • Conscious Inclusion training which will be scaled throughout the Samsung UK & Ireland workforce in 2021
  • The Women@Samsung Employee Resource Group – which has been established to attract, retain and develop women in Samsung UK & Ireland, building an inclusive, supportive and engaged community

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