Gender inequality in the workplace is an important topic that companies need to work on when looking for their business growth. Despite the common belief that in modern times, women are given equal opportunities in the workplace, men continue to land the most high-paying jobs. Read on to learn what the gender gap is and how companies can achieve gender equality in the workplace.
Gender equality in the workplace definition
Gender equality in the workplace exists when everyone, irrespective of gender, can uniformly gain access to and benefit from resources, opportunities, and benefits to flourish and succeed at all levels.
In order to be successful, any business needs to consider gender equality in the workplace. To take a step in the right direction, companies must strive to make their workplace equal, comprehensive, and diverse. A company's management can help close the gender gap by having fair hiring, reimbursement, appraisal, and promotion policies, irrespective of gender.
The current gender equality in the workplace in the UK
Resource - https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/socialbusinesshub/2021/11/15/why-we-should-still-be-concerned-about-gender-inequality-in-the-uk/#:~:text=Women%20are%20less%20likely%20to,members%20of%20parliament%20are%20women
Although just like in the other countries of the world, gender equality in the workplace in the UK is slowly closing, the UK still has a long way to go. There are still many inequalities and differences that women face at work. Gender equality in the workplace statistics in the UK shows that men are more likely to be employed full-time than men, and the gender pay gap in the UK stands at 17.3%. Regarding the Gender Equality Index, the UK ranked 6th in the EU in 2017. It is believed that with the current rate of progress, it will take 100 years to achieve complete Gender Equality in the UK. Gender inequality can be witnessed all around us, with less than a third of the members of parliament being women and only 35% being in top leadership positions. The UK, just like the rest of the world, still has a lot of work to do to achieve gender equality at work.
Why is gender equality in the workplace important?
Gender equality at work is essential because it is the right thing to do and will enhance the company's reputation. However, it is also linked to a country's general economic performance. As more and more women join the workforce, they raise wages and the nation's GDP.
Companies that encourage women to join them gain a wider talent pool where they can use the talents and abilities of more people. An encouraging, bias-free, and understanding gender-equal workplace results in an innovative attitude. Having both genders in your company gives you different perspectives, which come with varying experiences in life. It allows your company to profit from ideas that come from different perspectives. Moreover, having women on teams can improve team activities and promote collaboration. It is believed that women have more vital skills in reading non-verbal signs.
Customers like dealing with someone they can relate to; having a diversity of genders, backgrounds and ethnicities mean that customers would be able to communicate with them much more effectively, which will also result in customer satisfaction. To be successful, a company must adopt a flexible work culture that encourages mothers to join or rejoin the workforce. An organisation with flexible work, fair pay, and diversity results in a better quality of life for all genders. This means a good work-life balance can be achieved where both genders can spend quality time with their families.
In the end, if your staff feels that they are fairly treated in your organisation, paid equally for equal work done irrespective of their gender, and think that you are trying hard to provide an equal working environment to all, they will be happier. This employee satisfaction will mean that the employees will work hard, and the retention rate will improve.
Gender equality in the workplace laws
Gender discrimination has been illegal in the UK for many years, but the Equality Act 2010 law was incorporated only recently. The law protects against direct and indirect discrimination, harassment, and victimisation in the workplace. It also includes a ban on age discrimination against adults in the workplace. There are laws against pay gaps, maternity discrimination, harassment at work, and much more; however, even after this, we have a long way to go. Unfortunately, not many companies can boast of total gender equality even after all the steps taken by the organisations.
How to promote gender equality at work?
Promoting gender equality in the workplace lies on the shoulders of the management. Companies must strive hard to close the gender gap and make their workplaces inclusive. The below-mentioned tips can help employers in promoting gender equality at work.
Focus on diversity during your recruitment process.
The first step towards gender equality is to modify the job descriptions to promote gender equality. While preparing the job description, make sure that the description does not focus on segregating candidates based on gender, ethnicity, etc. Also, ensure that the language is free of prejudiced ideas or stereotypes. The interviews should also be fair and free of bias, giving all candidates equal opportunities.
Remove the gender pay gap
In every organisation, each employee must be paid equal wages for equal work, irrespective of gender. Employers can support gender equality by being transparent about salaries to ensure women are not being paid less than men in equivalent roles. A compensation program must be developed that would be fair, justifiable, and transparent. Even when it comes to promotions, everybody should be given equal opportunities, and organisations should not shy from promoting women to top leadership roles.
Work-life balance should be a priority
Organisations should incorporate part-time and flexible working in various job roles. In general, women share a huge chunk of responsibilities at home, especially after they become mothers. Childcare support and paternal leaves will ensure that child's responsibility is shared, and women do not have to leave their jobs to raise the kids.
Strict and Effective Policies
Organisations must have a strict policy against workplace harassment of all kinds. Employers must make appropriate policies to protect women, and if any case of harassment comes to light, organisations should take appropriate measures to punish the guilty. A vigilant approach by the management will make the women feel safe and secure at their workplace. There is a need to change the company's culture so that all employees learn to treat each other equally.
Which country is the best for gender equality?
The Netherlands is the best country when it comes to gender equality.
How much is the gender pay gap in the UK?
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), pay for full-time employees was 7.9% less for women than for men in April 2021.
Is gender equality a concern for men?
Yes, gender equality is also a concern for men because, in the absence of gender equality, unrealistic expectations are put on men where they are expected to be leaders irrespective of their personalities or interests.
What are the barriers to gender equality in the workplace?
Some barriers to gender equality in the workplace are - gender stereotypes, workplace culture, societal expectations, and much more.
What are the challenges that women face in their workplace?
Some challenges women face in their workplace are – unequal pay, sexual harassment, less promotion to top roles, etc.
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