Companies are 18% more likely to send men on work-related training than women, according to research from Theknowledgeacademy.com.
The researchers consulted data from Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, alongside a survey of more than 6,000 adults conducted by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) and the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE). They found that the types of training offered to men and women differed. More women were offered equality and diversity training (39% of women questioned compared to 24% of men), and health and safety training (61% of women compared to 52% of men).
Employers were also found to be more likely to sponsor men's training, with 74.1% of their professional training being sponsored by their employer, compared to just 68% of women’s training.
However, this problem was not just limited to the UK, where the disparity is 5%. The EU countries with the largest disparities in employer-sponsored training for men and women were found to be Turkey at 36.3%, Switzerland at 22%, and Italy at 19%. The only EU country to offer women more training than men was Lithuania, where the percentage difference in favour of women was 1.3%.
As those who had received job-related training were 54% more likely to have gained a new job or been promoted in the last five years, the research indicates women could be left behind when it comes to career advancement in the future.
Fiona Aldridge, assistant director for development and research at NIACE, said there were multiple reasons for this disparity.
“The differences we have found between training provision for men and women reflect wider issues within the workplace when it comes to gender inequality,” she said. “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.”