The issue of inequality is unarguably one of the most talked-about socio-political topics at the moment. Gender inequality particularly is still widely discussed in the Western world even though progress has come a long way and women have more opportunities nowadays than ever before. There are many women in leadership positions and many successful and powerful female figures in the world of business.
And yet, gender inequality is still common in companies of all sizes and types in all industries. Fortunately, businesses that decide to make changes to reduce inequality can find amazing win-win situations between men and women that will increase their company profit. Read on to find out how you can innovate your company and create equality in your organisation.
The Benefits of Hiring Women
Before exploring how your company can promote gender equality, it’s worth discussing the benefits of hiring women. Not only can such changes help you increase profit, but they can also improve your company in a number of other ways. Here are the three biggest benefits of hiring women and welcoming them to your team:
- Qualified Talent: Just like men, there are many highly qualified women in all kinds of industries. This means that by choosing not to hire women, you would be missing out on many opportunities to make your team better with qualified talent.
- Productivity and Innovation: Women can be just as productive and innovative as men. Moreover, by having women on your team, you will have more diverse perspectives which will directly lead to more creativity and innovation.
- Team Dynamics: Likewise, having women on your team can improve its dynamics. It’s one thing to have an all-male or an all-female team, but when the two work together, team dynamics change to a whole new state.
The Current State of Business
Though it may seem like gender inequality is becoming less of an issue in the Western world, there are still problems that have to be addressed. Some of them are not easily recognisable and could be hiding behind seemingly innocent statistics. In fact, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research paints a somewhat peculiar picture:
- Though there are more men than women who overwork on a weekly basis, the overworking itself creates gender inequality both at work and at home. Women have fewer opportunities to access higher-paid jobs while men can’t properly contribute to family matters at home.
- Women outnumber men among part-time workers. Part-time work is usually of lower quality than full-time work. Moreover, it usually comes with lower pay and fewer benefits. Women are also often forced to work part-time due to childcare and other family-related reasons.
- Fathers tend to work more hours than other men while mothers tend to work fewer hours than other women. Like overworking, this can create gender inequality both at work and at home.
While all of this may seem bad, there are some steps companies can take to change the situation for their organization. Experts from the top writing reviews site explain, “Solving gender inequality completely is very difficult. But businesses both large and small must strive to improve the situation for the better by implementing a variety of practices at work. The right policies can get your company to a whole new level in terms of gender equality.”
The Importance of Education
The first step to gender equality in the workplace is proper education. Without the right training, some of your team members can fall victim to being underqualified. To keep everyone at an equally high level of expertise, you need to educate your employees either yourself or with the help of relevant training programs available offline and online. There are many different ways to go about the training depending on what your company situation is.
After all, education has never been more accessible than it is nowadays which is why training your employees is becoming easier and easier. If you can’t organise training sessions in the office, find relevant online courses that will help you educate your employees at all levels and in all departments. From improving writing skills to learning affiliate marketing, e-learning can be the ideal route to take for companies that have limited options in terms of education.
Keep in mind that different employees may be at different levels of proficiency in their respective fields which is why personalisation matters a lot in education. At the same time, training is necessary to upgrade the skills of your employees (especially those who received their initial education a long time ago and may not be up to date with the latest findings in their sector).
The Power of Collaboration
Another crucial aspect of true gender equality that leads to higher profits is collaboration. When there is gender equality at your company, men and women in your team can work closer and achieve more effectiveness in everything they do. Teamwork leads to higher productivity as there is more organic collaboration between the different members of your team who understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses and use these strategically.
Experts from the different writer review websites say, “Collaboration lies at the foundation of every successful company. When there is discord within, there can be no talk of real success. That’s why businesses have to strive to create gender equality and all kinds of equality inside themselves to promote teamwork and collaboration through this equality. And once that is achieved, the company can grow, develop, and expand from within.”
Indeed, changing the way your company is organised within will impact the way it can appear on the outside. When you improve the structure of your business and strengthen it, you can then build on it and expand your company. With a strong, diverse, gender-equal core at the centre of your business, it is easier to hire new, diverse talent who will seamlessly get integrated into your team.
One of the best ways to understand how gender equality can be promoted within your business is by turning to experts. This is why Forbes’ recommendations on the matter can be very helpful to you. Here are the twelve tips you can follow:
- Act with Flexible Equity Policies: Instead of focusing on equality, try to create policies that focus on equity. Not everyone needs to have the same schedule, benefits, etc. – it’s all about creating equity by working with each employee individually.
- Hire Gender-Diverse Talent: Find and hire gender-diverse talent, including members of the LGBT community. There are many talented, experienced, and qualified specialists in the community.
- Learn About Implicit Bias: Educate yourself and your team about implicit bias and gender discrimination. The more you know about the matter, the more you can understand it, and the more effectively you can deal with it.
- Follow the Gender Intelligence Group: The Gender Intelligence Group has numerous resources on gender inequality that can help you educate yourself and improve your company through a new strategy.
- Run A Gender Gap Analysis: Run a gender pay gap analysis, check the number of women in leadership, and implement the right policies to change any imbalance you discover through this analysis.
- Train Employees on Unconscious Bias: Organize unconscious bias training sessions for your employees. Such sessions will make the changes you make at your company more effective in the long term because they will stimulate change at a subconscious level.
- Discuss Gender Equality Regularly: Gender equality should be a consistent part of discussions at your company. After all, the policies you implement might have to be altered in some way and further improved in the future.
- Fact-Check Your Assumptions: Another way to work on the subconscious level is by fact-checking the assumptions you make. Your old thought patterns may be incorrect because of how ingrained gender inequality is in our culture.
- Create Truly Equal Opportunities: Sometimes, trying to solve a particular issue related to gender inequality makes it an issue when it wasn’t one in the first place. That’s why it is extremely important to create truly equal opportunities.
- Empower Women Through Leadership: One of the best ways to empower women at your company is by promoting them to leadership positions (especially if you notice that you are lacking women in such roles).
- Differentiate Between Equality and Equity: As mentioned earlier, equality is not equity, so while you focus on equality, don’t forget to remember about equity. Take into account that the two are different and treat them as such.
- Analyse Your Diversity Data: Run an analysis of your company and look closely at your diversity data. Any gender pay and gender role gaps need to be addressed and changed for the better.
Connecting with Local Organisations
Working with local organizations to address gender inequality issues within your company can be the perfect solution for your business. Such organisations often have experts who can detect problems in your company and help you solve them. These experts usually have the right experience and expertise to give good advice for your particular situation.
Try to find local women’s funds and organisations that specialise in female empowerment and women’s rights. Likewise, similar regional and national organisations can also be of great help in this sense. Connecting with women’s organisations can help you deal with a variety of issues both in the workplace and at home that may affect employee productivity and overall well-being (e.g. domestic violence).
Practical Policies to Implement
The aforementioned Institute for Women’s Policy Research proposes a number of practical policies that companies can implement to reduce gender inequality at work:
- Offer Paid Family Leave, Sick Days, and Vacation: Give your employees paid family leave (including for parenthood, elder care, etc.), sick days, and vacation.
- Create High-Quality Part-Time Positions: If you offer part-time positions at your company, ensure that this work is high-quality and comes with appropriate benefits for workers in such positions.
- Allow Flexible Working Hours and Avoid Overtime Work: Let your employees choose their own working hours and schedule their tasks throughout the day for more efficiency and productivity. Similarly, avoid making your employees work overtime and consider reducing the working week hours at your company.
- Train Employees to Keep Them Up to Date with Tech: Organise training sessions for employees to stay up to date with the latest tech in your industry. It’s also a good idea to make training a paid time off work.
Ultimately, finding the best solution both for male and female employees at your company is essential to its success. In other words, it truly is a win-win situation between men and women when both sides respect each other. It’s in your best interests to provide everyone with access and opportunities to make your company the best it can be.