Four Ways To Improve Gender Equity At Work

Gender equity refers to the fair treatment of both men and women. In the workplace, this means men and women have equal rights, benefits and opportunities. While your company may strive to ensure fairness, leaders may inadvertently be leaving women behind.

How can you tell? According to Laurie Minott, a partner at Great Place to Work®, you can look for signs such as how many women make up your company’s leadership team and whether women get promoted at an equal rate to men. Another common sign of a biased workplace? Leadership or committee meetings with few or no women at the table or on the call.

Don’t forget about the gender pay gap, which has been a persistent problem for years. In 2020, women earned just 84 percent of what men earned, according to Pew Research.

To improve gender equity at your company, you can take a few actionable steps and get the ball rolling. We share Minott’s tips on how to do this in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

1. Watch the numbers. One of the best way to ensure fairness between men and women at work is to measure and monitor the numbers. For example, are pay levels consistent by role regardless of which gender occupies them? Does your company promote people based on their tenure or hours logged instead of their contributions? Minott says it’s also helpful to look at whether you lose more women than men. This turnover can signal a need to evaluate your working environment.

2. Learn about employees’ experiences. Minott recommends leaders go on listening tours to understand the experience of women in the workplace. If your team works remotely, you can still reach out to your employees for feedback or ideas. The goal is to actively involve women in your organization to develop solutions and monitor progress, says Minott.

3. Be transparent. Want to create a workplace where men and women are paid fairly and treated equally? Take a strong stance and speak openly about diversity, equity and inclusion, recommends Minott. Companies that are serious about workplace equity talk about it and communicate the business imperative, she says.

4. Turn empathy into action. It’s not enough for leaders to say they support workplace equity—they have to do something about it. Minott recommends that leaders examine their company’s practices, culture and leadership and use that knowledge to make changes. This might mean addressing gender pay gaps or creating more leadership development opportunities for women.

While many businesses are addressing gender equity, much progress remains to be made. If you’re in a leadership position at your company, think about how you can create a more equitable workplace. If you’re not currently in a leadership role, talk to your boss about your thoughts and ideas. Gender equity affects everyone. By leveling the playing field for men and women, companies stand to benefit with more engaged, productive and innovative teams.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Laurie Minott is a partner at Great Place to Work®, where she consults and coaches executive leadership teams on advancing business performance and culture change.

filed under September 2021
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