5 Ways to Create Gender Equality in the Workplace
Gender equality in the workplace remains one of the most contentious and widely discussed issues of modern time, not only in the workplace, but in the wider world. The same pay for the same job, on the surface, sounds fair and equitable.
So why is it so difficult to achieve for so many businesses?
When the BBC revealed it’s six top paid stars earlier last year, all of them were men.
Indeed, in the top ten, only Strictly Come Dancing host Claudia Winkleman managed to make it onto the list.
Ensuring that you maintain gender equality in the workplace is not just about wages, however.
There’s the equity of opportunity, for a start.
The Chartered Management Institute reported back in 2015 that men are 40% more likely to be promoted to management positions.
The truth is that, whether you feel that you have gender equality in the workplace or not, you can help create the right environment by implementing a few simple measures.
Introduce More Flexibility
There is some evidence that women will tend to favour flexible working over a higher salary or a higher profile job because the latter comes with more restrictions on time.
Women tend to have more commitments than men when it comes to running a family.
There are a few jobs where flexibility is an issue (if you’re a surgeon for one) but the vast majority actually aren’t.
A business that is more flexible on the working and life balance needs of its staff can often find huge benefits too.
What’s more, it’s not just women who like flexibility, male employees at all levels do to.
Help Workers Plan in Advance
Staff often want flexibility but many also want to know when they are working.
If you’re looking after a family and have to pick up the kids (and that goes for both men and women), knowing what your schedule is for the next week is important.
Both of the above measures allow staff to contribute in the workplace and, done properly, should ensure that there is more gender equality across the board.
It means opportunities are not lost and are available to most if not all of the staff.
Equity in training is also an issue in workplaces.
Making sure that managers are trained properly and understand their roles rather than simply rising to the top based on performance is important.
That includes training managers to treat staff the same whatever their gender and giving both men and women equal opportunities.
Equality Doesn’t Mean Everyone is the Same
The question of equality can sometimes get skewed by trying to do the ‘right thing’.
Employers have to decide whether a move to greater flexibility is right for one individual based on the facts, not their gender. In other words, just because one person has something, doesn’t mean another should necessarily have it – their circumstances may not be the same.
Be Open About Salaries
There has been a shift where businesses are starting to publish their salaries, with many in search of a more open process. Employees can quickly see whether they are being paid the same for doing the same job.
Revealing salaries has, in the past, been seen as rather un-British, something that is private and between the individual and the company they work for.
But it is really something all businesses should be doing. With those companies that have been brave enough to publish their salaries, it’s proved that male workers can all too often be paid more than their female counterparts – often a much greater amount.