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Roughly two-thirds (63 per cent) of women said the shift toward gender equality in the workplace isn’t taking place fast enough and, despite more societal awareness, they still aren’t being offered the same opportunities as men, according to a new survey by Randstad Canada.

The survey, which polled more than 1,000 working Canadian women, found just 19 per cent said a lot of progress has been made over the past 10 years in achieving gender equality, while 32 per cent said there has been little to no progress.

Two-thirds (66 per cent) of all respondents and 65 per cent of women of colour said they’ve witnessed or have been personally impacted by biases through microaggressions, lack of flexibility, less pay for equal work and fewer opportunities to advance.

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Only 30 per cent of respondents said their employer is taking the right actions to promote and support diversity, equity and inclusion within their workplace, while 25 per cent said their employer is taking some action — but not in ways that will make a big difference — and 25 per cent said their employer is taking no action at all.

When asked what steps employers can take to bridge the gender gap, greater access to paid time off (73 per cent) was the top-ranked measure, followed by remote working policies (70 per cent), empathetic managers (46 per cent), flexible work (43 per cent) and respect for work-life balance (40 per cent).

While 68 per cent said they see themselves continuing to work for their current employer, only 51 per cent said they feel motivated to work toward a promotion and 47 per cent of women aged 25 and younger said they have to work harder than their male counterparts to get recognition. In addition, 46 per cent of women of colour are less likely to agree their salary is comparable with similar responsibilities and are less likely to trust their employer to be fair to all employees.

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While roughly 70 per cent of respondents agreed equitable opportunities to advance exist for people of diverse backgrounds and identities and 66 per cent felt recognized by their peers for their unique set of skills, only 47 per cent agreed that promotion or advancement opportunities are awarded to the most qualified person. Roughly half (46 per cent) of all respondents — and 63 per cent of women of colour — said they’ve been passed over for a promotion they asked or applied for.

Regarding the shift to remote and hybrid working arrangements, more than half (54 per cent) said they were treated well in regards to salary and benefits, while 52 per cent said their employer trusted them to get their work done from home.

Roughly half (49 per cent) said their employer would trust them to be productive while working flex hours or working from home indefinitely (48 per cent). A third (33 per cent) plan to return to the office full time while another 33 per cent plan to go in two or three days a week and 17 per cent said they won’t return to the office at all. In addition, five per cent said they would quit their job if forced to return to the office.

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