The Gender Benefit Gap: What Do Men and Women Want as Perks?

Posted on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 by Guest bloggerNo comments

Benefits packages have become increasingly important for employers trying to attract the very best talent to their companies, whether it's for a top London PA job or a super office manager. Now, as well as salaries and future prospects, benefits play a crucial role for candidates trying to weigh up their job options – if one company offers a more attractive package, it can influence their entire decision.

With benefits becoming so vital for talent acquisition, businesses are increasingly tailoring their benefits packages to suit certain demographics, such as gender and age. But is there any difference between what men and women want as benefits from the workplace? Let’s take a look at those work wish lists.

Variations based on gender

When it comes to benefit packages, men are from Mars and women are from Venus in terms of the benefits they favour most. A study by PwC has found that women focus on benefits that address immediate needs for their household. These include medical insurance and childcare. Medical insurance is valued highly by 32% of women but just 24% of men, and more than twice as many women ask for childcare benefits. Perks such as enhanced maternity pay are also considered very important.

By contrast, men are more likely to take risks with their benefits, opting for share plans and pensions over childcare. Company car schemes are also more popular among the men, with 29% placing this as the benefit they’d most like to see introduced, compared to 21% of women.

When it comes to everyday perks in the workplace, women prefer the prospect of free food, while three times more men than women would like to see a games room installed within the workplace.

There also appears to be a gap in the number of benefits received by women, in the same way that there’s an overall gender-related pay gap. Figures released by Grass Roots Employee Solutions show that 44% of women don’t receive wellbeing benefits such as healthcare or gym memberships, compared with just 32% of men who don’t. Almost half (48%) of women don’t enjoy benefits such as working from home or funding for education, compared to just over a third (35%) of men.

The common ground

Though there are many differences in the priorities of men and women, there is some common ground overall. Both men and women like benefits such as discounted shopping vouchers, help with mortgage rates, and extra holiday allocations. Extra flexibility is also becoming increasingly important for both genders – almost a third of the happiest workers in a survey by Conference Genie said perks that offer a little more flexibility at work are most important to them.

What about age?

Of course, gender isn’t the only thing that separates individuals in terms of benefits. Age is also a key factor. Younger people are more interested in gym memberships, discounted canteens, and company cars, while the older generation are more likely to choose pension-related benefits or investment opportunities.

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