Table of contents: [Hide] [Show]

History Of Gender Inequality In The Workplace – Understand Yourself Better: Big 5 Personality Test Learn how to leverage your natural strengths to determine your next steps and achieve your goals faster. Take the 5-minute test

Go to the section The fight against gender discrimination What is it like today? Steps that managers can take to eliminate gender inequality in organizations Steps that employees can take to combat gender inequality True gender equality is intersectional Equal Pay Day, a symbolic event created to highlight pay inequality, has fallen on March 24th of this year. This day shows how far into the year – 83 more days in 2021 – women need to work just to be able to earn the same as men earned in the previous year. Gender inequality in the workplace isn’t limited to unequal pay either. Women, especially women of color, LGBTQ+ women and women of color, continue to face barriers to assuming leadership positions and are likely to face microaggressions – hurtful statements or insensitive questions – related to race, ethnicity, gender and sexual identity. Leaders need to close gender gaps in career progression and eliminate discrimination in the workplace. There are concrete ways to achieve this ideal – transparent salaries, flexible work options, training opportunities for women and a focus on wellbeing and mental health. Employees can also play a role in ensuring gender equality on all fronts by becoming allies, reporting instances of discrimination and giving honest feedback to leaders. Before establishing some tactics to combat gender inequality, let’s see how and when the first steps were taken. The fight against gender discrimination began in the 19th century. In 1872, Belva Ann Lockwood, a lawyer, convinced the U.S. Congress to pass a law guaranteeing equal pay for women employed as federal employees. Almost a century later, the Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963, making equal pay for men and women law in all workplaces. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 gave women equal rights in all areas of employment and was amended in 1991 to allow women to sue employers for sexual harassment. Despite federal law against gender inequality and discrimination, it infiltrates the workplace in insidious ways. Although some progress has been made, gender inequality continues to persist today. Gender inequality in the workplace: what is it like today? Gender inequality in the workplace takes many forms — unequal pay, disparity in promotions, incidents of sexual harassment and racism. It often presents in more nuanced ways, such as fewer opportunities for women who are mothers and a higher incidence of burnout in women. Pay inequality Pay equality between men and women is not yet a reality. In 2020, women earned 84% of what men earned for the same work, and Black and Latina women earned even less. This pay gap between men and women has persisted in recent years, decreasing by just 8 cents in 25 years. There are multiple reasons to blame, including “sticky floors” that result from traditional social norms that prevent women from choosing higher-paying roles and male-dominated industries, unequal access to education, and discrimination. Additionally, women, especially those living in intersectional realities, such as transgender and immigrant women, face the fear of negotiating salaries and being penalized if they do. A recent study questioned this idea and found that women ask for pay raises as often as men, but only get them 15% of the time, compared to 20% when men ask for them. Barriers to promotion There is a “broken step” at the level of managers: “For every 100 men promoted to managers, only 86 women are promoted”. This problem is exacerbated at higher levels of leadership: fewer women managers mean that there are fewer candidates to be promoted to department heads, directors and also to high-level positions. You can see this lack of representation clear as day: 62% of senior roles are held by white men, compared to 20% held by white women (more than the 13% held by men of color) and just 4 % by women of color. Additionally, managers often identify candidates for job opportunities by drawing on their personal networks for recommendations, which often consist of “people like them” (same gender, race, identity). This further perpetuates the imbalance in representation. Bias against mothers Mothers and women of childbearing age are less likely to receive a call from hiring managers, even when their resumes are identical to the resumes of male candidates or women without children. This points to gender biases rooted in the “work/family narrative”, which views women through the lens of the caregiver/mother. The (erroneous) conclusion is that their devotion to family and childcare makes them less committed and unable to work long hours like their male counterparts, especially in high-level jobs. The “gender effect” of the pandemic has dealt a new blow, leading almost 2 million women, especially mothers with young children, to consider downsizing their careers or leaving the job market. Greater burnout in women Research shows that more women than men, especially in senior positions, are burned out and deal with constant stress in the workplace. The pandemic has nearly doubled the burnout disparity between men and women. This makes women more likely to accept “accommodations,” such as part-time work or in-house roles, which further harm their careers and contribute to gender inequality. Incidents of sexual harassment Thirty-five percent of women in the US experience sexual harassment at some point in their careers: a sign that sexism is overlooked in the workplace. Sexual harassment can also be a direct side effect of disparity in pay and promotions. Following the #MeToo movement that began in October 2017, incidents of sexual coercion and unwanted sexual attention have decreased. But there has been a sharp rise in hostility towards women – one survey found that gender harassment (sexist comments and inappropriate stories from male colleagues) rose to 92% in 2018, up from 76% in 2016. Experiences of racism in Compared to white women, women of color and women with marginalized identities face a higher rate of disrespectful and “other” microaggressions, such as being questioned or interrupted. Black women also lack active allies at work. White employees consider themselves allies of black women, but less than half actually take basic actions, such as reporting prejudice or mobilizing for new opportunities for black women. Often this is because white “allies” and women of color have very different ideas about what is helpful. Steps that managers can take to eliminate gender inequality in organizations According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2020, none of us will see gender equality in our lifetime. Before the pandemic, the report estimated that it would take 99.5 years to reach gender parity. The Covid-19 pandemic has set us back an entire generation – the 2021 report states that the gender gap will not close for 135.6 years because it has impacted women (especially mothers, women of color and older women) more heavily than than men. However, these predictions are based on the current state of gender inequality. We can start making a significant impact now to close the gap: 1. Educate employees about unconscious gender bias Everyone can have biases and unconscious biases about people or groups. Provide implicit bias training through the Implicit Association Test (IAT) to managers to raise awareness of these hidden biases towards minorities so they can actively avoid discriminatory behavior and make more informed decisions to promote gender equality. 2. Appoint diverse interviewers and implement longer lists to hire more women in senior roles. Research shows that an expanded pool of candidates for open roles creates more gender diversity because it prompts managers to think beyond the gender stereotypes associated with a function. Train Human Resources managers on how to make these types of longer lists when hiring, especially for male-dominated roles, so that more women are recruited into senior roles. Take steps to ensure interviewer diversity when reviewing resumes and conducting interviews. Research shows that women are more attracted to roles when they see that the interviewer is a woman. 3. Conduct an audit and make salaries transparent Conduct a company-wide audit to ensure that men and women in the same roles are paid equally. Use the findings to adjust salaries and close any gender pay gaps. In 2013, Buffer adopted full transparency and disclosed all salaries. As a result, job applications increased from 1,263 in the 30 days before the announcement to 2,886 the following month, expanding the talent pool. 4. Give employees flexibility to work when and where work for them The pandemic has proven that remote work is equally, if not more, productive. Provide flexibility about when and where employees can work. For women, this flexibility in working hours can prove to be a “critical enabler” of retention in the workforce because it allows them to maintain a work-life balance. However, if your organization follows a hybrid model, be careful not to fall victim to presenteeism, where men who choose to go to an office may be more “visible” at work and therefore disproportionately

History Of Gender Inequality In The Workplace

History Of Gender Inequality In The Workplace


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *