A new survey finds most New Jersey businessmen and businesswomen agree that women in the workplace having equal footing with men is a good idea.

But ask them whether their workplace needs improvement, and the responses differ.

The Cohn/Reznick-New Jersey Chamber of Commerce survey showed almost nine out of 10 agreed gender diversity is an important company priority. But Scott Goldstein, a spokesman for the Chamber of Commerce says "the survey got very interesting when you separate the responses of males and female business execs."

About 25 percent of the women in the survey said the company should be doing more. Meanwhile, only 12 percent of the men thought that their company should be doing more to increase gender diversity.

Goldstein says that even when we asked a fact-based question, like what kind of gender diversity initiatives are in place at your company, there is a perception gap: 62 percent of men surveyed said their company has mentoring programs for women, while only 37 percent of the female execs said their company has mentoring programs.

When you asked whether women and men have the same opportunities to advance in their organizations, three out of four men said yes, while only 55 percent of the female execs said women and men have the same opportunities.

The good news: Goldstein says a large majority agreed gender diversity where they work is headed in the right direction — 87 percent of business execs surveyed said gender diversity makes a company more competitive.

"The bottom line is diversity is not just the right thing, it is the profitable thing."

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at Joe.Cutter@townsquaremedia.com

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