Women Face More Pressure, Conflict in the Workplace

November 6, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A new survey looking at the working styles of men and women reveals that 45% of working women agreed with the statement that "women have to be better than men to succeed in the workplace."

In contrast, according to a press release, only 26% of the men questioned said they believe this to be true. The ‘Style of the Sexes’ survey, jointly commissioned by Cisco and Gender IQ also found that more than half of the men (53%) view ability as more important than personality in the workplace, while only 39% of women rate ability in the workplace higher than personality.

In addition to feeling more pressure, the survey found women are more likely to have experienced conflict in the workplace (55% versus 46% of men), and women take longer to recover from conflict as well. Forty-one percent of women who had experienced conflict said it took more than a month to recover, compared to 25% of the men who said the same.

In a conflict situation, men and women also respond differently – 73% of the men said they would confront the situation face to face, compared with 63% of the women. Women are more likely to ask for intervention, with 59% likely to talk to their manager and 39% likely to report the situation to HR, compared with 52% and 35% of the men, respectively.

More women (75%) than men (67%) said they share work concerns with colleagues.

One thing on which the genders agree, though, is what is important in a job. According to the press release, both men and women ranked pay first in importance, followed by equipment, an interesting job role, and flexibility in work location or the ability to work from home. Having a role model was least important for both men and women.

Seventy-nine percent of women said getting training is important, compared with 73% of men, and 75% of women cited seeking flexible hours as important, compared with 69% of the men. The only areas that more men than women find important are chances of promotion and benefits beyond pay.

The majority of both men and women (88%) prefer to work in roughly equally mixed teams. However, both men and women preferred working in mostly male teams (21.6%) rather than mainly female teams (8.1%).

The research was conducted during October 2009 via an online survey with 615 demographically representative employees in the UK.