Even with an equal number of women entering the workforce as men, women are still not afforded the same training as their male counterparts

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Recent research by The Knowledge Academy found that only 6 in 10 women were offered workplace training, paid for by their employer, compared to almost 8 in 10 men. To add insult to injury even when trained, men were still more likely to receive a pay rise due to the skills they learned.

The study revealed that this was in part a result of the type of training offered to each gender. Men were more likely to be sent to supervisory training to help them become better leaders and managers, whereas women were offered equality and diversity training. More than a third (39%) of women surveyed had received this kind of training compared to just 24% of men, which shows a real disparity in understanding of what women require in the workplace.

Alongside this research, a survey conducted by UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) and the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE.), looked at 32 EU countries, which included the UK.

The study found the EU countries that had the largest disparity in employer-sponsored training for men and women were as follows:

  1. Turkey: 36.3%
  2. Switzerland: 22%
  3. Italy: 19%
  4. Czech Republic: 17.1%
  5. Spain: 13.8%
  6. France: 13.1%
  7. Greece: 13.1%
  8. Germany: 13.1%
  9. Luxembourg: 12.8%
  10. Austria: 12.5%

Encouragingly in the UK, the disparity was 5%, where 74.1% of men received professional training sponsored by their employer, compared to 68% of women. According to the study, only one EU country offered more women training than men, which was Lithuania, where the difference was 1.3% in favour of women.

The reason why women are left behind when it comes to training seems to fall in the difficulty of transitioning back to the workplace after bearing children.

Far more women are likely to work part-time, especially after becoming mothers (44% women and 13% of men respectively) which results in a lack of training opportunities as the study found that only 19% of part-time staff received both on-the-job and off-the-job training in the last 12 months.

The fact that women receive less training not only hinders their progression but also the business in which they are employed as over 80% of respondents who were studying for their line of work reported positive outcomes for themselves and for their companies.

On the results, Dr Fiona Aldridge, Assistant Director for Development and Research at NIACE comments, “The differences we have found between training provision for men and women reflect wider issues within the workplace when it comes to gender inequality. Advancements in flexible working have helped to ensure that there are now a record number of women in work, but this flexibility is often accompanied by a hidden pay penalty: the hourly pay difference between full-time and part-time workers is currently 25%. Women are also much more likely than men to be found in low paid sectors such as retail, hospitality and social care.”