Why Is Gender Equality Important In The Workplace
Gender equality is not a new issue. In a variety of workplaces and offices across the globe, inequality has reared its ugly head, showing up in ways so subtle that people may not even understand what is happening at first. Labels and expected behavior from coworkers can hinder women’s ability to get things done at work, forcing them to shrink themselves down or apologize in order to maintain positive relationships.
But this discrimination against women doesn’t just happen in subtle interactions in the conference room or in meetings, it is a systematic issue that affects who gets promoted and how much employees earn. There is a 24% difference between the number of men holding manager-level positions versus the number of women in manager-level positions, even in fields that are predominantly female dominated.
Studies have shown that companies with high levels of gender diversity actually outperform industry medians, bringing in more money than expected. So it’s disheartening to hear that even with this known success, that women still make seventy nine cents to every dollar that a man makes for the same job.
And outside of these financial and hierarchical issues, there is also the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace. 27% of women say they have experienced sexual harassment at work, and an even smaller precentage actually report it for fear of retaliation or loss of employment.
So what can be done to help improve the issue of gender equality? First and foremost, employers need to understand that gender equality in the workplace benefits everyone. By keeping an open mind, and being respectful to every voice in the room, employers can foster an environment of creativity, collaboration and productivity. Below are some additional tips for businesses to implement to help ensure gender equality:
- Re-evaluate leadership roles and make sure that there are no bias’ at play.
- Create a transparent salary structure so that everyone is on the same page.
- Work towards inclusivity and re-train current employees on anti-harassment rules.
- Establish a mentorship program to increase collaboration and boost employee morale.
- Make it clear that you support a work-life balance for your employees.
There are also plenty of lessons that business and employees can learn from some of the most influential women in various professional spheres. From tech gurus to fashion designers, women at the top of their fields know how to fight against the current injustices in place in society. In fact, they learned how to thrive in spite of it.
Take a look at some of the inspiring quotes from top female executives and leaders, and the lessons we can learn from their success:
- Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Supreme Court Justice.
○ Quote: “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.”
○ Lesson: Leaders have no gender.
- Melinda Gates, Co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
○ Quote: “When women and girls are equal, everyone is greater.”
○ Lesson: Gender equality benefits everyone.
- Shonda Rhimes, TV Producer and Writer.
○ Quote: “Making it through the ceiling to the other side was simply a matter of running on a path created by every other woman’s footprints.”
○ Lesson: You were born to do big things – the future starts with you.
- Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook.
○ Quote: “When you look at successful women, they have other women who have supported them, and they have gotten where they are because of those women.”
○ Lesson: Mentorships and external support are key to career success.
No matter your preferred industry, there is a high chance that gender inequality affects your day to day life. And while society has taken huge strides in recent years to help bridge the gap, there is still plenty of work to be done. So take note of how you are treated in your next boardroom meeting, or how you respond next time you are offered a raise, because these little injustices can add up and have a serious effect on your overall career growth.
To take a deep dive into this issue, just in time for National Equality Day on August twenty sixth, Fundera created this infographic on promoting gender equality in the workplace. Take a look and get inspired by the women leading this movement, and work to make each day a more inclusive environment for yourself as well as your female colleagues.
This post is a guest contribution by Fundera.