LEADERSHIP / JUN. 13, 2014
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What Women (Really) Want

It will probably come as no surprise to read that men and women think entirely differently about pretty much most things.

But, according to new research on graduates by Trendence UK, these differences are arguably even more different in the workplace – especially when it comes to what they want from their blossoming careers.

The research finally confirms what some might have long suspected – that men are much more driven by money. What’s interesting though, is that amongst today’s supposedly more ethically aware young, greed still supersedes a company's poor reputation. To the question: ‘If the salary was right, I would work for a company with a bad image,” some 39.7% of men agreed, compared to only 20.4% of women.

When asked whether ethical and moral issues play an important part in the choices people make, a whopping 63% of women agreed to this, compared to just 51% of men.

Finally, when asked whether it was money, or fulfillment that graduates most wanted from work, 70% of women said they felt it was more important to be fulfilled, compared to just 57% of men.

The fact the differences are so large may not be such good news for anyone hoping the so-called ‘rotten’ cultures of some companies (like the banks), stand any chance of changing for the better. Financial services is dominated by men, and if men don’t mind the image of the firm they work for, then these firms don’t arguably face any pressure to improve.

Even more worrying though, is that if banking is seen as being all about greed with little social responsibility, then lots and lots of seriously talented women are being put off from even applying.

Surveys consistently show that the greatest challenge facing employers is their ability to find and retain good talent. But firms who face these talent shortages will hardly do well if they’re actually excluding half of the population.

Some firms may not realise that the working environment they foster, or the image they have, is quite so corrosive to their recruitment brand. But if this research reveals anything, it’s that they probably should.

Perhaps these results are really a wake-up call for employers, about what both men 'and' women really want from their future employers. Maybe employers need to ask themselves whether the culture they pursue is making them unattractive to large swathes of potential talent. If employers aren’t looking at this, their prospective candidates certainly are.


Photo credit - topsecretbusiensswoman.com

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