The latest research has found that women really do work harder than men in Australia

Picture: Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images
  • Women now appear to be the driving force behind Australia’s corporate performance.
  • They work at least 7% harder than men but are less satisfied with their pay and benefits.
  • However, Australians generally worker hard than the global average.

The latest research shows Australian women put in a greater effort at work than their male colleagues.

Many may have suspected this but lacked the data to prove it. However, the latest Gartner Global Talent Monitor reveals that effort among Australian female employees is almost 7% higher than men.

In the fourth quarter of 2017, female effort levels increased 1.6% to reach 24.2%, compared to just a 0.5% increase seen in male workers.

“Gender differences in the workplace have long been a topic of intense focus and speculation, but the data is clear,” says Aaron McEwan, HR advisory leader at Gartner.

“Women are working harder than men and now appear to be the driving force behind corporate performance.”

Australia is doing well generally when it comes to effort at work compared to the rest of the world.

Australia is powering along with discretionary effort increasing 1.4% in the December quarter, a full five percentage points ahead of the international average.

Here’s how Australia compares to the world:

Research shows that high discretionary effort in organisations can drive up to 23% higher business performance.

While women are putting in more effort, they have developed clear expectations of what they want from their employer.

Female workers are less satisfied with their rewards (28.6%) including health benefits, compensation and vacation, compared to men (29.5%).

Perceptions of pay among women is also lower than in their male colleagues (57.3% versus 59.9%).

“Organisations really need to think about what they are doing to support the continued productivity and engagement of their female workforce,” says McEwan.

“They run the risk of losing their star performers if they continue to gloss over the desires of their hardest working employees.”

According to the data, the most productive segment of the workforce is also the most likely to leave.

Intent to stay among male workers is currently 41.5% while among females it is 40.5%.

To keep high performing female employees, Gartner recommends:

Equal pay. Build knowledge of how pay decisions are made, including transparency around internal and external factors.

Gartrner says: “Use objectives to regularly define the most important ways employees can contribute to business objectives, alongside the expectations for their role. Ensure rewards for both women and men are reflective of the goals they achieve.”

Greater flexibility. Flexible work advances career opportunities for women by supporting work-life balance, a key desired benefit identified in Australia.

Gartner says: “To effectively enable flexible work, however, companies must remove the stigma around it for both men and women.”

Engage in rewards conversations.

Gartner says: “Empower employees to have a dialogue about how they feel about their individual rewards, what they want, and how the organisation can work towards realistic and achievable rewards that satisfy the workforce.”

McEwan says some boards and CEOs have already begun to place increased scrutiny on their diversity and inclusion efforts, with their sights on addressing gender pay equity.

“The time has never been better to address the pay disparity and reward those who are putting in the hard yards,” he says.

Global Talent Monitor data is drawn from the larger Gartner Global Labour Market Survey which is made up of more than 22,000 employees in 40 countries. The survey is conducted quarterly.

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