It would be surprising for you to know that gender equality means a lot of different things to different people. For some people, they are comfortable in the traditional structures of patriarchy and feel the existing system is fair enough for one and all. Some have pseudo-liberal thoughts on gender equality that seems more deceiving than what it preaches.
Now, there is a wave for a new gender equality system starting from workplace to laws and everything else. This wave may have started slow but it is seeking its root in the modern world. Were humans really wired to discriminate against the sexes?
History says no. Though there were traditional roles for both men and women in many societies, some gave equal rights and roles to both. The term equality didn’t mean equal, it just meant fair.
Women were given certain rights and duties that didn’t make them look weak and men had a role in being the breadwinner. And in some, it was reversed. But since we have marched towards industrialization and beyond, everything has changed since then.
Since technology and education replaces the ‘fair’ part of the term equality, now it is time to make it equal. Men and women can both do anything given that they have the right education and experience needed for their respective field.
Inclusion of One and All
And now when we talk about gender, we cannot only be defining them with just men and women, but also with other denominations in the LGBTQ community. Making the workplace safer, comfortable, and even equal for them makes them an efficient part of the society.
Also, it is important to note that to reinforce gender equality in society, we need to stop clogging the process with baseless gender stereotypes. If we dart our eyes only on history and refuse to move towards bettering the present and the future with action, we will never progress.
Here are the ways on how you can promote gender equality at a workplace as an employer:
1. Listen First and Then Rule Out a Verdict
This means that you, as an employer, will listen to the grievances of your employees regardless of their gender. Assuming how someone can work through their pain and suffering is not really productive unless they have asked you for it.
Problems are always skin deep, listen to all patiently and then work out ways on how one can tackle it. Be it about fatigue, burnout, stress, project management, taking care of mental health, you need to ask them what hinders their progress without any partiality.
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2. Being Equal and Fair in Approach
This means rules should be transparent to all. There should be no secret in disclosing incomes and why one deserves more than the others. Also, telling them how they can ask for a rise in their pay in constructive ways.
Keeping the rules clear, transparent, and fair only promotes a healthier work environment. If someone has earned a raise, make it clear on how the other employees can earn it too.
3. Tackling Harassment
Now, contrary to what people used to believe in the past, harassment can happen to anyone, anywhere, regardless of their lifestyle choices and conditions. It is not limited to gender, economic condition or social structure.
How we tackle this issue and ensure we provide a safer environment for one and all is crucial. No one should feel harassed by the other verbally, physically, and even emotionally in a workplace.
4. Mixing and Social Interactions
Because of the traditional roles and repercussions, the conservative employees may have a biased opinion about the opposite sex. Some may never want to interact with the other. Some may treat the other rudely and think they deserve it. This can develop a hostile environment in the workplace. Mindlessly mixing them will not work sufficiently.
You should host seminars and events where you educate people on –
1.) How to interact respectfully?
2.) What are the things that make them look like they are crossing a line?
3.) How to work in a team?
5. Regularly Educating them on Gender Equality
This means you can even have a pop-quiz or make them participate in events that would educate them about the issue. Reinforce this feeling of being equal with lapel pins which are small and effective enough. When you badge yourself with a mission, the lapel pin will take a meaning of its own.
6. Perks, Leaves, and Labor
In a survey, it was found that some employers would not employ women, as they would probably ask for maternity leaves in the future. And during that period of time, they will not be productive to the company and the company would be obliged to pay them, which they consider it a loss.
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Hence, we need an equal number of women and men in workplaces and capable of holding all the titles. Men might feel non-included in this. Therefore, many have proposed the idea of paternity leave since men too have an equal role in child rearing. When you cultivate a culture of building a family of employees rather than just a company, everyone’s lives become better.
These things would help you promote gender equality in the workplace. Start from one, be an example to one million and see billions of people gain financial independence, which would result in the stable economy of the country. Patriotism can never be defined any better than by equality. So why not start now?