Women have made great progress in the workplace, but inequality persists. It isn’t news that, in 2016, women remain underrepresented across organizations, especially at senior levels of leadership.
In this article, we are going to take a look at the ways men and women inhabit the world of work and what can be done to make them more equal.
Women in the workplace:
According the a study conducted by LeanIn.Org and McKinsey entitled Women in the Workplace 2016 , women are still underrepresented at every corporate level and hold less than 30% of senior management roles. The number and the percentage of women fall off dramatically in the higher ranks of organizations.
Women are not promoted the way men are:
The good news is that women are now negotiating for raises and promotions as often as men, but they face more pushback when they do. Among women who negotiate, 67% are more likely to receive feedback that their personal style is “too aggressive” or “bossy”. They hit what is called “the glass ceiling” and fewer end up on the path to leadership. On average, women are less likely to be promoted. As a result, the higher you look in companies, the fewer women you see. (IMAGE) In fact, when women are clearly competent, they are also often judged to be unlikable – by both men and women while men are seen as forceful, worthy of promotion and likely to succeed.
Women earn less than men:
The gender gap in pay is real! Over a lifetime of work, a woman with a bachelor’s degree will earn a third less than a man with the same degree. For the same work and same qualification than men, women start behind and never catch up.
These challenges are even more pronounced for women of color. They make up the most underrepresented group in the corporate sector and experience the deepest drop-offs in middle and senior management.
The challenge is how to break down the stereotypes that cause inequality in the workplace.
The reason for this situation lies in many of the unconscious assumptions we all hold about women and men (gender stereotypes). We expect men to be assertive, look out for themselves, and lobby for more, so there’s little downside when they do it. But women must be collaborative, nurturing and giving, focused on the team and not themselves, or they’ll be viewed as self-centred. So when a woman advocates for herself, people often see her unfavourably.
Gender equality in the workplace:
Gender equality is achieved when people are able to access and enjoy the same rewards, resources and opportunities regardless of gender. Women don’t need help. They need to be recognized and treated fairly for their accomplishments. Even thought changes are difficult to implement, companies can tackle inequalities by having a strategy to recruit, retain, and promote women supported by leadership from the top. This includes but is not limited to:
- Providing equal pay for work of equal or comparable value
- Removing barriers to the full and equal participation of women in the workforce
- Providing access to all occupations and industries, including leadership roles, regardless of gender
- Eliminating discrimination on the basis of gender, particularly in relation to family and caring responsibilities
- Advocating for women’s rights and opportunities in corporate communications; male employees need to know that gender issues are not just women’s issues.
Finally, smart leaders have understood that companies with more gender-balanced workplace out-perform those with less women in their leadership team. Achieving gender equality in the workplace makes good business sense because it is linked to a country’s overall economic performance.
29 Jul 2017 - EasyPoli