A Practical Guide to Gender Equality in the Workplace
True gender equality is empowering to both men and women.
Rather than one gender being superior or dominant over the other, gender equality enables men and women to work together in harmony, on the same level but in uniquely different ways. It’s largely through this complimentary partnership that enables massive levels of positive change and sustainable success be accomplished.
When it comes to gender equality problems in the workplace, there are no longer any legal discrepancies, as men and women of all races, religions and ages technically have equal access to all job types and levels of management. Though this equality is legally mandated, recruiters, hiring managers, other executives and employees don’t always practice it.
Today we’re going to take a closer look at gender equality in the workplace, why it’s important and the many benefits it brings to individuals and the entire team when put into fair practice.
What is gender equality?
Gender equality means that both men and women have fair access to all of the same resources, wages, opportunities, professional roles and promotions.
When it comes to gender equality in the workplace, discrepancies range from being frequently disrespected or dismissed solely due to one’s gender. This can spread into wages and other opportunities as well.
There has long been a gender pay gap in the workforce, in many roles, women make 70 to 80 cents to every man’s dollar according to the American Economic Association. While a lot of progress has been made, it’s one of several gender equality issues that are still deeply ingrained in society’s systems.
Why is gender equality important?
America is only a couple hundred years old, and with that lack of age has come a variety of gender equality problems and fluctuations over the years. While some rights might seem obvious (like the ability to legally speak without being spoken to first), others are less so and can be more difficult to navigate.
Some people have never directly experienced being mistreated or slighted solely as a result of their gender, and it’s often these people who don’t believe gender inequality still exists. For others, they’ve personally had so many negative experiences that they’ve developed a cynical or outright hostile attitude and behavior towards the other gender.
Gender equality in the workplace is important because it—fosters healthy, positive interactions between coworkers, strengthens teamwork and productivity, attracts top-performing employees, and ultimately, better helps companies achieve their growth and revenue goals.
In other words, gender equality is key for maximum and long-lasting success.
How to promote gender equality
The great news is anyone and everyone can help promote gender equality. You don’t need to be of a certain leadership level, make a certain amount of money or be the most well-known employee in the company — all you need is to contribute simple, consistent and genuine effort.
From a managerial standpoint, gender equality at the very minimum looks like equal pay (both in starting positions and for future promotions) and equal treatment in meetings, decisions and more.
Company benefits should be designed to fully serve the needs of their male and female employees. This looks like offering flexibility around working from home or their schedule so that single and/or working parents don’t have to sacrifice quality time with their families for their careers.
From the coworker’s point of view, gender equality largely comes down to showing equal levels of respect to other men and women in the workplace. Aside from respect, being willing to receive help or counsel from someone of either gender is part of this equality, too.
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