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November 5, 2009updated 23 Aug 2016 3:00pm

Revealed: different work styles of the sexes

Women believe they must beat men to move up the ranks

By Janine Milne

Women still feel that they have to be better than men to succeed in the workplace, according to a survey by Cisco and Gender IQ.
While 45% of the women surveyed believed they had to be better than men to succeed, only 26% of men agreed with the statement.

“It’s interesting that men don’t presume that women need to be better than men to succeed. I think personally that some women believe they have to be better because they feel it’s harder for them to move up the ranks and perhaps men can’t see that’s part of the problem,” said Nikki Walker, director of inclusion & diversity for European markets, Cisco.


The survey aimed to discover if there were any differences in men and women’s attitudes to work situations and how this knowledge could be applied to get the best out of employees. Encouragingly, the majority (88%) of both sexes said they preferred to work in roughly equally mixed teams, though both men and women preferred working in mostly male teams rather than female ones.


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One area where differences were highlighted was in the way men and women dealt with conflict. More women than men felt they’d had to deal with conflict and said it took longer to get over the conflict, with 41% saying it took more than a month to recover, compared to 25% of men.

Cisco has been focusing on inclusion and diversity in Europe for the last two years and currently 20% of its own European workers are female.


“That’s the industry standard and we’re moving in the right direction and made definite strides. Women now have a 30% representation on the European board,” said Walker.


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