New Research on Gender Happiness

New Research on Gender Happiness

Friday, March 8, 2019

Research from employee benefits provider Personal Group shows that whilst money and recognition are priority benefits for both genders, men value long-term benefits such as life insurance, whilst women want instant benefits

8th March 2019 - Technology-enabled employee services business Personal Group has unveiled research into gender happiness in the workplace, coinciding with International Women’s Day.

It demonstrates that despite being paid on average 8.6% less than their male counterparts (ONS: 2018), women are happier and more enthusiastic about their work, and prouder of the work they do.

The research, which is the second annual survey of this kind, surveyed over 1552 UK employees about their happiness, enthusiasm, pride, and efficiency at work. The results demonstrate that despite great steps being made, a significant gap in workplace happiness remains between men and women across the UK.

Almost 45% (44.6%) of women said that they’re happy at work either quite often or most of the time, compared to only a third (34.5%) of men. The figures around enthusiasm were similar with 42.8% of women feeling enthusiastic about their work quite often or most of the time versus 36.1% of men.

This increased positivity amongst women towards their jobs was compounded by increased negativity amongst men about theirs. When looking at employees who rarely feel happy, enthusiastic and proud at work, men score on average 6.4% higher than women across all categories.

Despite this, men are still keener overall to get to work in the morning than women. One reason for this may be that men feel, to a greater extent than women, satisfied that they are recognised for their contribution at work. This is clearly demonstrated by the fact that for men, recognition is not as highly valued as a preferred benefit as it is for women (39.8% of men would like more recognition versus 47.2% of women). At a senior level, men are much more reticent to go to work each morning, with 44.4% of male company owners and directors never or rarely keen to go to work versus only 6.3% of their female counterparts. However, for frontline employees there is an equal level of reluctance to go to work each morning with over 50% of staff, regardless of gender, rarely or never keen to go to work in the morning (51.2% women and 50.4% men).

For both men and women, more money is the most important benefit – 60.9% of men and 63.3% women say this would make them feel happier at work. Men also are shown to value longer-term benefits such as life insurance, health insurance and hospital plans (33.8% as opposed to 27% of women), whereas female employees’ value instant benefits like retail discounts more (14.9% as opposed to only 10% of men).

Deborah Frost, Chief Executive at Personal Group said: “A significant gender pay gap still exists in many companies between men and women. Although a great benefits package can never replace pay, it does show your employees, both men and women, that you value them. A gender happiness gap is another measure of understanding how your employees really feel about work.

“Gender Pay Gap legislation has brought the issue of female representation in the workplace into the spotlight and these happiness survey results present an opportunity for businesses to ask themselves if they are doing enough to support their employees and if they are fostering the right culture and tools for their employees to flourish. Closing the gender pay gap and gender happiness gap requires businesses to create a long-term strategy, one which will involve internal changes, senior management buy-in, education, and an open and transparent culture.

“If businesses take the necessary steps to connect with their employees it will leave the UK with a happier, more engaged, more productive workforce, regardless of gender.”

Key highlights from the research include:

Keen to get to work in the morning

  • 44.4% of male company owners and directors are never or rarely keen to go to work in the morning versus only 6.3% of their female counterparts at the same level.
  • For frontline employees there is an equal level of reluctance to go to work in the morning with over 50% of staff, regardless of gender, rarely or never keen to get to work in the morning (51.2% women and 50.4% men).
  • 29.8% of men are keen to get to work when they get up in the morning either quite often or most of the time, compared to 26.8% of women.
  • Looking at women, those at junior and frontline roles are the least keen to get to work when they get up in the morning, with keenness rising with respondents’ increasing seniority.
  • Amongst male respondents, those most keen to get to work in the morning are those at senior manager and department head level.

Happiness in the workplace

  • Almost 45% (44.6%) of women said that they’re happy at work either quite often or most of the time, compared to just over a third (34.5%) of men.
  • 60.9% of men said that more money would make them feel happier at work, compared to 63.3% of women.
  • Recognition is the second most important benefit for both men (39.8%) and women (47.2%), although it is valued by a much larger proportion of women.
  • Men are more in favour of longer-term benefits, such as life and health insurance. 33.8% said these would make them happier at work, compared to just 27.0% of women.
  • Women are more in favour of instant benefits than men, with 14.9% saying these would make them feel happier at work compared only 10.0% of men.

 Enthusiasm about the job

  • Women are more enthusiastic about their job, with 42.8% saying they’re enthusiastic either quite often or most of the time, compared to 36.1% of men.
  • Women at director and company owner level are the most enthusiastic of all female workers about their jobs, with 87.5% agreeing they are enthusiastic about work most of the time / quite often.
  • Men at senior manager and head of department level are the most enthusiastic of all male workers, with 64.7% agreeing they are enthusiastic about work most of the time / quite often.

Proud of the work

  • There is little difference in the pride that men and women have in their work – over a third of both genders feel proud of what they do most of the time (33.1% of men and 34.9% of women).
  • Pride in work appear to increase with seniority for both genders with less frontline employees feeling proud of their work most of the time (31.2% women and 23.8% men) than company owners and directors (62.5% women and 55.6% men).

Work as something important and worthwhile

  • More women (54.9%) feel that their job is important and worthwhile, compared to men (48.2%).
  • 50% of company owners and directors (regardless of gender) feel that their job is important and worthwhile most of the time. However, for frontline employees only 15.4% of men and 23.4% of women share this view.

Working as efficiently as possible

  • Over half (56.3%) of female company owners and director believe that, at best, they are only working as efficiently as possible some of the time versus less than a quarter (23.1%) of their male counterparts.
  • Amongst senior management and department heads over 60% (61.5%) of women believe that, at best, they are only working as efficiently as possible some of the time versus 41.2% of men working at the same level.

For further information and insight, ‘Closing the Gender Pay Gap - The Link Between Pay and Happiness’ is available.

- Ends -

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