One in seven HR decision-makers assess men as more suitable for top positions, and nearly one in five acknowledged hesitancy in hiring women they believed might embark on starting families.
The survey, conducted among personnel managers in England and Wales for the Young Women’s Trust (YWT), deemed the figures a "travesty" and underscored that England and Wales were "living in the dark ages."
In the UK, British Telecom, ITV, and GlaxoSmithKline are all led by female chief executives. Notably, the country boasts more female leaders than the combined total of Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the US, and Japan, said a report by The Guardian.
The results also suggested that younger HR managers were more inclined than their older counterparts to harbour biases against women's ability to handle significant roles.
“It is shocking that HR managers still believe that men are better suited to senior management than women,” said Alesha De-Freitas, the head of policy at the Fawcett Society.
The charity enlisted market researchers to survey 907 human resources sole or joint decision-makers. They were asked to express their agreement or disagreement with the statement, "Men are better suited to senior management jobs than women."
Fifteen per cent agreed, 79% disagreed, and the remainder didn't provide a response. In a separate revelation, it was found that almost a third of male managers believe that companies are dedicating excessive efforts to achieve gender balance in the workplace.
This insight, obtained from a regular tracking survey by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and shared with The Guardian, suggested ongoing challenges for gender equality in the workplace.
Notably, the CMI estimated last year that for the UK workplace to be representative of the broader working population, an additional 560,000 female managers would be required.