Ensuring gender balance in the workplace does not end on just on-boarding women, it is about creating a diverse culture.
Today’s global and competitive business environment constantly asks for innovation, and its success always relies on the agility of the organization to stay ahead in key areas, including strengthening gender equality.
Gender equality is considered to be an essential factor for the competitiveness and growth of any organization. But unfortunately, the workforce tends to overlook this opportunity due to occupational segregation influenced by gender and racial stereotypes.
Women tend to cover less than half of the global workforce at 39%, but accounted for 54% of job losses as of May 2020.
Closing the gender gap requires a set of measures companies must be willing to push and implement. Here are some of the starter points that can immediately be executed:
1. Improving hiring practices to increase diversity
Structured interviews where all candidates are asked the same questions in a predetermined order and format can diversify the recruitment process. Gender equality can also be championed by ensuring that job descriptions do not lean to any preferred gender, the assessment will be based on skills and experiences, and the agency sits a diverse membership in the panel.
Balanced culture must be best exemplified first in the recruitment process to help attract new talents and further engage newly-hired personnel.
2. Equal representation on leadership teams, corporate boards, and decision-making
Stereotyping, like assuming that only men thrive in leadership roles and women are best fit to assume support-oriented ones, forms the base for gender discrimination at the workplace. Leadership roles must be granted to anyone, given that they have all the qualifications and characteristics, regardless of their gender.
Businesses and nonprofits that actively support gender equality tend to make better business decisions —and ultimately make more money. Research shows that inclusive and diverse teams are observed to make better business decisions up to 73% of the time.
It is high time for companies to debunk conscious and unconscious bias which includes false perceptions that women are less efficient than men, or a woman is bound to apply for leaves due to parental responsibilities.
Having more diversity in the leadership can break down gender barriers, thereby promoting healthy competition between and among employees to project themselves into leadership roles.
3. Equal pay and benefits
Across the world, women still get paid less than men. Women make only $0.82 for every dollar a man makes, which is one cent more than they made in 2020.
According to United Nations, for women of color, immigrant women, and mothers, the gap widens.
Men and women in the same employment, performing the same work must receive equal compensation and benefits. If there are mechanisms in place, salaries must depend on productivity, or the quality and quantity of delivered work to avoid gender bias and pay inequalities.
4. Seminars on gender mainstreaming
It is crucial to create a culture that encourages constant learning on various topics like inequality and gender.
Facilitating an annual training on gender provides participants with the knowledge, skills, and values to contribute to the effective implementation of gender mainstreaming strategies in their line respective work and in the organization.
Gender equality training can help eradicate gender stereotyping by individuals which results in the inability to acknowledge gender inequalities and a failure to notice its various impacts in the workforce and take into account the concerns of women and men leading to better-informed policies and decision-making, as well as improved organizational practices.
If your organization is one of those with a disproportionate number of men and women employees, do you have all it takes to close the gender gap?