Cisco examining Workplace Styles of the Sexes

A new survey looking at the working styles of men and women reveals
that 45 per cent of working women agreed with the statement that ‘women
have to be better than men to succeed in the workplace’. In contrast,
only 26 per cent of the men questioned believe this to be true. The
survey also found that more than half of the men (53 per cent) view
ability as more important than personality in the workplace, while only
39 per cent of women rate ability in the workplace higher than
The ‘Style of the Sexes’ survey, jointly
commissioned by Cisco and Gender IQ, addresses issues such as how
conflict is dealt with in the workplace, which factors men and women
consider important in a job, whether job concerns are shared with
co-workers, and whether employees prefer to work in teams of mostly men
or mostly women. While the findings indicate that real differences
exist in how men and women deal with aspects of their work,
organizations that seek to better understand and respect differences in
the workplace get the best out of their employees and teams.

Highlights / Key Facts:

On the Makeup of Teams

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

On What’s Important

  • Generally speaking, women are more demanding than men about what is
    important in a job, with 79 per cent saying getting training is
    important, compared with 73 per cent of men, and 75 per cent seeking
    flexible hours, compared with 69 per cent of the men. The only areas
    that more men than women find important are chances of promotion and
    benefits beyond pay.
  • Pay ranked first in importance for women, with equipment second. An
    interesting job role shared third place with flexibility in work
    location or the ability to work from home. Men rated pay and equipment
    as most important, followed by an interesting role and flexible work
    location or the ability to work from home.  
  • Having a role model was least important for both men and women.

On Dealing with Conflict

  • Women are far more likely to have experienced conflict in the
    workplace: 55 per cent stated they’ve faced conflict compared with 46
    per cent of men.
  • Women take longer to recover from conflict as well: 41 per cent of
    those who had experienced conflict said it took more than a month to
    recover; 25 per cent of the men needed more than a month to recover.
  • In a conflict situation, men and women also respond differently: 73
    per cent of the men said they would confront the situation face to
    face, compared with 63 per cent of the women. Women are also more
    likely to ask for intervention, with 59 per cent likely to talk to
    their manager and 39 per cent likely to report the situation to HR,
    compared with 52 per cent and 35 per cent of the men, respectively.

On Sharing Concerns

  • More women share work concerns with colleagues: 75 per cent shared concerns versus 67 per cent of the men.


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