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Men more confident than women about Brexit, employment survey finds

Employers Must Increase Transparency Around Internal Opportunities and Better Communicate Benefits to Retain Top Talent, According to CEB

UK workers are defying Brexit gloom thanks to rising confidence in the jobs market, though men are significantly more optimistic than women about the future, according to CEB (NYSE: CEB), a best practice insight and technology company.

CEB’s Global Talent Monitor indicates that while the business outlook has been improving across Europe, employee perceptions of job opportunities in the UK rose by four per cent this quarter. However, not everyone is convinced that the job market will get better. In fact, 22 per cent of men agreed that Brexit will open job opportunities, whilst just 14 per cent of women believe this to be the case. The gender gap is likely to be aligned to the belief that Brexit will reinvigorate traditionally male-dominated sectors such as manufacturing, and bring back jobs previously in decline due to advancements in technology.

Commenting on the data, Brian Kropp, HR practice leader at CEB, says: “Male-dominated optimism is likely to be short lived. Reduced numbers of low value manufacturing and labouring jobs are a result of technology and innovation. It is difficult to imagine a rational policy that will turn back the clock on these roles and industries post-Brexit.”

CEB data from the quarterly survey shows that rising confidence in the local economy also boosted job seeking activity. One-in-five (22 per cent) workers are more positive about their career prospects and actively looking for jobs in other organisations.

Distracted by the prospect of better job opportunities, employees are taking their foot off the pedal at work; just 16 per cent are applying themselves fully. With more workers thinking about their career options, companies need to help employees achieve a better work-life balance and create development opportunities before employees jump ship.

Kropp continued: “Keeping employees focused and engaged should be a top priority for organisations. Managers should respond to this by surfacing what their workers value and discussing development opportunities in the business. If firms want to keep their highly talented people they need to find ways to make work more flexible.”

Global Talent Monitor data is drawn from CEB's larger Global Labour Market Survey which is made up of more than 22,000 employees in 40 countries. The survey is conducted quarterly and is reflective of market conditions during the quarter preceding publication. Visit www.cebglobal.com/talentmonitor to learn more and compare talent data from around the world.