Practical Ways to Address the Gender Gap in the Workplace
Despite qualified women gaining greater representation in the labor force today, there are still glaring gender gaps to address and achieve full inclusion. Statistics show that only 86 women ascend to managerial positions for every 100 men who get the role. It’s much harder for women of color to get promoted to these roles. As Gender Pay Day approaches, we’re reminded of how women have to work longer than men for the same financial reward.
These widespread disparities can hinder workplace inclusion, hurting any organization’s success or talent acquisition and retention efforts. Diversity alone is never enough and may not matter if your female employees don’t feel as valued as their male colleagues.
Ways to Promote Gender Equality at Your Workplace
- Accountability for Executives Involved in Hiring and Promotions
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs aren’t an automatic priority for some business leaders. However, you can prevent this in your organization by requiring top-level managers to set gender inclusion goals for the workplace. To hold them accountable, consider incorporating progress in inclusion into performance appraisals. You may offer financial incentives for achieving diversity and inclusion targets.
- Support for Gender Diversity Efforts
Senior leaders should openly support workplace DEI initiatives. This encourages junior employees across the organization to embrace their noble cause. It entails leading by example, such as by demonstrating inclusive leadership. Top-level managers should also actively participate in inclusion events and training.
- Resource Allocation
DEI programs like employee training or mentorship require funds and personnel. Allocating adequate resources to these efforts moves your organization closer to its gender inclusion goals.
- Employee Engagement and Training
To deeply entrench the culture of gender inclusion in your entire organization, you should empower all employees to participate in your DEI efforts. Raising awareness is an essential part of this effort. You can achieve this by sharing data to help your employees understand the challenges women face in the workplace and how a more inclusive culture can help remove the barriers. By continually training your employees on DEI-related topics like unconscious bias and ally-ship, you can accelerate progress toward complete gender inclusion in the workplace.
- Consistent Reinforcement
Some drastic cultural changes necessary to maximize inclusion in most offices won’t occur in a few days. Besides providing ongoing training, you should consistently reinforce your inclusion policies. For example, you could provide financial incentives to encourage participation in the DEI initiatives or make inclusion training mandatory for employees involved in hiring, promotions, and performance reviews.
- Set Clear Inclusion Policies
Ensure your employees understand what your organization means by “inclusive culture.” Company values can vary, so it’s important that you articulate the specific behaviors and practices expected of all staff to ensure everyone in the office, including women, feel safe, respected, and valued. Moreover, make your standpoint transparent on specific issues women of color face in the workplace, such as microaggressions.
- Diverse and Inclusive Leadership
Allow more women to scale the corporate ladder into first-level management. Getting more women into managerial roles creates room to promote and hire more women across all levels. Foster inclusive leadership by letting female managers speak their minds and contribute to decision-making as freely as their male counterparts.
- Straightforward Evaluation Criteria
Be an equal opportunity employer for all by establishing clear evaluation criteria for hiring and promotions. Utilize assessment methods that are easy to use and built to capture objective and measurable input. Recruiters and performance appraisers should have unconscious bias training to ensure a fair process. Be transparent about your evaluation formulas and career paths for women to take full advantage of any available growth opportunities.
This can help check the broken rung that many women face in the workplace today. It creates opportunities for female employees to advance their careers. Senior-level leaders or managers can serve as sponsors by regularly vouching for female protégé’s whenever career-boosting assignments or promotion opportunities come up. Enhanced access to managers and regular engagement with top-level mentors in the workplace can help otherwise disadvantaged minorities better manage and grow their careers.
- Recognize Women Leaders for Their DEI Achievements
Studies show that women leaders in the corporate world are outperforming men in similar positions in advancing DEI initiatives. They can be an invaluable asset in promoting gender inclusivity in the workplace, but they need support for their extensive cultural work. Financial reward and recognition is one way to appreciate and prevent burnout among the women leaders driving inclusion progress in your organization.
- Pre-hire Behavioral Interviews
These assessments can help recruiters identify candidates whose personality and attitude are compatible with gender inclusion values. To help candidates understand what’s expected of them, you may consider mentioning your organization’s core values in your job postings.
Why Companies Need to Bridge the Gender Gap?
Gender inclusion initiatives are a priority for most successful organizations today. When you create a workplace culture where women feel valued, you increase your company’s competitiveness in the labor market. Unfortunately, many women have turned down job offers based on their prospective employers’ bad inclusivity practices. For better business results, you should offer equal leadership opportunities to your most talented employees regardless of their gender.
If you need expert guidance in creating and executing practical business success strategies, contact us at Business Forward Ventura County today. Our meticulously researched professional resources can help you develop and grow your ideas for consistent business growth.
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