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Survey Highlights Gender Bias Problem in MR Sector

September 13 2017
Women are still being passed over for top positions in the market research industry, and are more pessimistic about their prospect of promotion, according to the results of research conducted by networking organization Women in Research (WIRe), which ran its first study five years ago.

WIRe delegates at industry network eventWhile women are climbing further up the corporate ladder, feedback shows that men are still taking more of the senior industry roles. However, while the gender pay gap is shrinking at the senior level, particularly outside the US, women say they are less satisfied with their jobs and careers than their male counterparts, and are more pessimistic about the prospect of being promoted at larger firms. Women also perceive more barriers to career growth than males, with the issues of parenting, lack of training and opportunities, company culture, and pay seen as hurdles.

WIRe founder Kristin Luck says that the results of the study suggest companies need to start treating diversity as a business performance metric, with CEOs committing to 50/50 gender parity at every level of their organization, and training provided to help employees combat unconscious bias. ‘Despite the gains we’ve seen in some areas there is still significant gender disparity in the workplace in our industry, and companies need to continue to make diversity a priority by investing in the people resources and programming that can produce measurable and meaningful change,’ states Luck.

The second wave of the study – known as ‘Gender and Career Advancement in the Research Industry’ and conducted in July – was created in partnership with Lieberman Research Worldwide with data collection support from FocusVision, and sample partners including ESOMAR, Greenbook and the Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA). Nearly 1,000 female and male MR professionals responded; and questions correlated with the inaugural 2012 study on issues such as compensation, children and family issues, job satisfaction and job responsibility levels.

Full study results are available at: www.womeninresearch.org .