Fibrus fights gender inequality ahead of International Women’s Day
Leading broadband provider, Fibrus has revealed the results of a survey undertaken ahead of International Women’s Day to highlight the impact of gender bias in workplaces across Northern Ireland.
Fibrus surveyed over 150 participants from a range of industries, asking respondents to share experiences of gender inequality they may have encountered. Designed to provide a greater understanding of gender bias, the findings will be used to help shape the company’s own equality policies and enhance the culture within the business.
More than half of respondents said they have experienced gender discrimination at work, with 36% stating that their main concern was sexist attitudes and an underlying sense of being treated differently due to their gender.
When asked why women might not speak out in order to change the culture of a workplace, almost 42% said they thought it would create an uncomfortable environment, while 21% worried it would be viewed as ‘nagging‘. Use of language featured prominently, with participants describing the difficulty to change gender imbalance as they felt it was a systemic or societal problem due to women’s exposure to sexism in everyday life.
Speaking at the launch, Fibrus Chief People Officer Terri Johnston said: “There is no place for inequality of any kind in society. Yet, many are seeing that gender bias still exists in the workplace despite the advances that have been made over the last number of years.
“While we were shocked by some of the findings, there were also some encouraging results. Experience of pay disparity based on gender appeared to be less common, which is really positive, but a third of respondents said they had been personally impacted by gender inequality, and double that figure felt their appearance influenced how they were seen professionally.
“The results indicate that a culture shift in how we all treat and speak to one another, as well as a strategic approach from leadership at the highest levels in business, is needed to address gender imbalance. It is not acceptable to describe women as ‘nagging’ for speaking out, while our male counterparts can often be lauded as ‘strong’ or ‘assertive‘ for saying the same thing. This kind of behaviour needs to be identified, challenged and removed from social and professional settings.”
With a workforce of over 130 staff, Fibrus is committed to providing a strong workplace culture, ensuring equality exists across their rapidly growing team. Terri added:
“Our survey shows that while we have come really far, it still isn’t far enough. The theme for International Women’s Day this year is ‘Choose to Challenge’, and that’s exactly why we chose to do this piece of research on women’s workplace experiences from across all sectors in Northern Ireland.
“At Fibrus, this means actions and not just words. Equality is part of the DNA of what we do. We’ll continue to celebrate the women in our business, challenge our own policies to look for bias, develop family-friendly policies, and empower our strong community of women.”
♀️ 70% feel things are improving for women in the workplace
♀️ 52% have experienced gender discrimination in the workplace
♀️ 65% feel appearance influences how others see them professionally
♀️ 36 % feel their discussion points are not always valued
♀️ 39.4% feel there are salary gaps within the same level of their organisation
♀️ 36.2% feel that sexist attitudes and an underlying sense of being treated differently is their main concern
♀️ 41% feel that it would make the workplace uncomfortable if they were to speak out to change workplace culture