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14th Oct 2019

Nearly half of female professionals in Ireland believe their gender hampered their job prospects

Conor Heneghan

Over half of Irish professionals believe their career progression has been limited by an identifying factor such as race, gender, or mental health status.

A little under half of female professionals in Ireland believe that their prospects of being hired for a job were hampered during the interview process because of their gender.

Female professionals in Ireland are more than three times as likely to feel their chances of selection for a job have been lowered because of their gender than men (46% vs 14%), according to The Hays Ireland Diversity & Inclusion Report 2019.

More than 770 employers and employees were surveyed to determine the findings in the report, which also detailed that just under eight in 10 Irish professionals believe that hiring managers would benefit from ‘unconscious bias’ training.

Unlike explicit bias or prejudice, ‘unconscious bias’ is a subtle, learned stereotyping behaviour that forms subconsciously and can influence a person’s attitude towards a group of people based on a characteristic, such as their race, age, gender, or sexual orientation.

Research in The Hays Ireland report reveals that only a third of Irish professionals say their organisation currently provides this kind of training.

It was also revealed that 44% of professionals think that their organisation’s leaders have a bias towards hiring people who look, think, or act like them, a significant reduction on the last year, when the figure stood at 55 %.

Just over half (51%) of Irish professionals, meanwhile, believe their career progression opportunities have been limited by an identifying factor, like race, gender, or mental health status and a similar portion of professionals (52%) believe that their chances of selection during interview have been reduced because of their age.

Other findings in the report included:

  • Nearly all professionals (90%) believe that actively working to build a workplace which encourages inclusion and respect for all will have a positive impact on employee retention.
  • Half of all professionals say that they look for an organisation’s diversity and inclusion policies when researching a potential new employer, but 61% find it hard or extremely hard to find evidence of any commitments.
  • Over a third (37%) of professionals believe that greater workplace diversity and inclusion will positively impact the recruitment of the best talent; 29% believe it will help an organisation keep the talent they already have and 22% said it will improve an organisation’s reputation.