AI pinpoints ‘huge’ gender imbalance in UK workplace, not only in the boardroom

Huge gender bias is evident in the UK workforce, according to a study, which examined the role of men and women across the British workplace.

The study was conducted by a team of artificial intelligence engineers and data scientists at UK start-up Glass.AI, whose technology read and interpreted every website on the internet from the UK and compiled information on employment practices.

The study reveals around 95% of receptionists, legal secretaries and care assistants are female in the UK while 85% of investment bankers are male, and the creative industries remain overwhelmingly male dominated.

In spite of the fact both sexes are almost as equally likely to participate in the workforce, men remain far more likely than women to be in leadership roles, across all sectors.

Commenting on the findings, data scientist Ana-Maria Huluba who ran the study, says: “It is well known that there is a male bias in the boardroom; what has not been appreciated is the sheer scale of bias across ordinary jobs, and the level of gender segregation between sectors.

“What makes the study even more interesting is that men and women actually appear in almost equal numbers on the web in total, with 51% male and 49% female – which matches the ONS [Office for National Statistics] numbers for gender in the workplace. And yet beneath this we get this massive segregation of roles and appearance in different economic sectors. This is a complex pattern that is supportive and yet goes beyond traditional stereotypes of activity.”

Some of the other survey’s key finding include: 

  • 82% of all CEOs, 92% of chairpersons and 73% of directors are male, which confirms statistics already highlighted by the ONS research.
  • Of 108 economic sectors examined, 87% are biased towards men. Investment banking is 85% male, across all roles.
  • Civil engineering and oil & gas remain 80% male.
  • Creative industries such as media, music, internet and photography also remain heavily male biased.

The study also revealed some female dominated sectors too – veterinary science is 78% female, and primary and secondary education is 71% female.

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