The Gender Gap Situation
The gender gap is the difference between women and men as reflected in social, political, intellectual, cultural, or economic attainments or attitudes (World Economic Forum, 2017).
Apparently, there are no countries in the world with gender equality and, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2021, another generation of women will have to wait for gender parity.
This unequal treatment doesn’t hurt only women but everyone: educated and healthy women are more likely to have more educated and healthier children, creating a virtuous cycle of development.
Don’t underestimate the power of women
Positive aspects of having women included in organizations are numerous, such as:
1) Added value to the final client. Companies with more women in top management have a better understanding of customer and employee needs.
2) Improved problem solving. Is not a secret that men and women have different leadership styles and competencies: those differences benefit organizations when solving problems.
3) Increased profitability. According to several studies, women in the workforce correlate positively to company profitability (The Peterson Institute for International Economics, 2016): therefore be sure to represent women in business leadership!
4) Higher revenues. Gender-diverse business units have higher average revenue than less diverse business units (Gallup, 2014).
5) Workplace well being. Having more women in the workplace makes an organization a better place to work: it guarantees more job satisfaction and organizational dedication ( Centre for Creative Leadership, 2017).
So, there is a strong correlation between an organization’s progress in closing the gender gap and its economic competitiveness.
Hints on how to bridge the Gender Gap
How can Businesses commit to gender equality? By taking several steps like:
– Make people aware of the gaps: we can change what we are aware of: spread awareness about the issue within the organization and find moments to discuss them.
– Use skill-based assessments in recruitment: don’t rely only on interviews but try to verify competences using objective, standardized processes.
– Improve transparency: in promotion, pay and reward processes. This leads managers to be objective because their decisions can be reviewed by others.
– Show respect: men get more respect than women even if they hold the exact same position. (That’s What She Said: What Men Need to Know – and Women Need to Tell Them, About Working Together, Joanne Lipman 2018). A good rule? If you wouldn’t say it to a man, you probably don’t want to say it to a woman.
– Remove unconscious bias: researchers found that almost 90% of men and women hold some sort of bias against females (BBC News, 2020). This impacts placement opportunities inside the organization: implement D&I policies and find “male allies” to involve in supporting female initiatives.
Do you work in an organization that promotes gender equality? Could you share a time you have gotten gender equality right in your organization?