It is challenging and likely impossible to avoid holding any bias in your life. However, what we do with that bias matters, and that applies to how one acts at a job. While there will never be a magical solution, here’s how you can combat gender inequality in the workplace.
Conduct the Right Training
Ideally, your HR team will provide the proper training regarding workplace sensitivity and best practices. Your employees should be aware of what is and is not acceptable in the workplace. Not only will this help inform your employees, but it will also help other women and gender non-conforming people feel safer and more welcome. Training also helps employees build better interpersonal relationships and gives the right incentive to strive to treat each other with mutual respect.
Have Equitable Procedures and Follow Through
The impacts of gender discrimination in the workplace are painful and highly damaging. Employers need to maintain a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination and harassment. These policies should be written clearly and thoroughly in the company’s commitment statement and employment contract. However, having written policies is not enough. The company needs to be able to back up these policies by following through, or there’s no bite behind the bark. A lack of action will also affect how well employees follow through on other policies.
Weave Diversity Into Company Culture
Diversity must be implemented into the company’s culture long before an incident occurs. This can be achieved through an actively diverse hiring process. Not only will this set up your business for success, but diversity is the foundation of innovation. Ensuring diversity within your company from the very beginning will garner allyship and attract the employees needed to continue the company culture you’ve created.
Offer Supportive Employee Benefits
Being flexible and offering supportive benefits decreases employee turnover, makes employees happier, and shows them how much you care. For example, a generous amount of parental leave for men and women is essential. In addition, working with childcare services and taking some of the cost will boost employee morale. In tandem with childcare services, offering flexible schedules and work-from-home options makes a world of difference, especially to women with young children.
Ultimately, the best way to combat gender inequality in the workplace is to actively show how much you and the company care, not only through words but through the actions that follow them.