The last fifteen years have truly addressed gender imbalance globally, yet it has not given all people stronger voices in the workplace. Now is the time to clear some things up.
Evolution is all about indiscriminate reproduction, right? Meaning the world can’t decide to undermine one gender over the other, isn’t it? So why do we see different fractions of many leading organizations are still under the impression that it is more efficient to have a few females and a bunch of males, or vice versa. This is becoming an integral part of today’s workplace functions—it is either more men, fewer women, or more women, fewer men without a balance.
Now to the business of the article. Is it at all true to say gender imbalance in the workplace should be a norm as seen from the world’s lens? This recent focus on gender imbalance in the workplace; this pendulum-shift towards focusing on what gender is the right candidate in a workplace has me a little bit confused.
I have decided to do my research and write this, to address years of historical gender imbalance, to help employees navigate around those trying to get in their way or help employers get out of their way.
Gender Equality Provides Benefits
Although there has been a move in the right direction to curb this gender imbalance, female workers are still yet to achieve this gender exposition with their male counterparts. They continue to be under-represented in senior management positions. There is no doubt that there is lots of discrimination in the workplace, especially women facing the most of it.
Achieving gender equality is not just important because it’s the right to do; it can also provide huge benefits to your business.
Let’s do a statistical breakdown according to US Census Bureau (2017), women are half the population, but are yet to reach 50 percentile value of the workforce, even in most advanced economies.
They are yet to achieve an obvious parity with men in companies chair rolls. Surveying 14,500 companies worldwide, women represent on average only 11% of board directors. Women hold 17% of senior management roles in America’s 100 largest companies. The equivalent figures for Europe and Asia are just 11% and 4% globally. Women hold 24% of senior management roles. We can see this gender imbalance everywhere, not just in America, the national gender pay gap in Australia remains at 14%. While only 7% of the CEO’s in the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE 100) companies are women.
Equal Ration—Better Results
Men that dominate in the business world have a fundamental role along with women in tackling the transformation of this pattern of inequality. Nevertheless, several studies show how companies with a relatively equal ratio of women to men on their boards and senior executive teams achieve better results. This is now leading principal companies to encourage women’s advancement and entice them to put their talent at the company’s service.
At the same time, the current technological and social changes entail a larger distribution of power. Cooperative and independent work is required when facing dominating and hierarchic leadership, which women are making headway in.
Highly valued leaders tend to be the most empathetic, adaptable and motivating ones.
These characteristics are traditionally related to women without renouncing their determination when needed. Encouraging their participation and their collaborations without gender bias will undoubtedly improve the results of most corporate enterprise that incorporate gender equality.
Large companies can set aside the fact that technology has transformed the traditional working models as to availability and presence of the workers and the possibilities of small sized enterprises to compete in the global market; this transformation facilitates the incorporation of women in business and offers men the opportunity to share the family responsibilities, something beneficial for the society.
Filling the gender gap entails challenges that governments and society must acknowledge: if women can develop all their potential, a real economic and social progress will be produced in the 21st century. To speed up these changes for gender parity, or imbalance, it is necessary for leaders to be actively involved. Their companies will have to reflect the reality of the population by facilitating flexibility and offer all this information to the society with transparency.
I’ve put a few bullet points to help stamp out gender imbalance in many workplaces:
- Close the gender pay gap: by conducting a pay audit, it helps you identify disparities among your workers, giving gender transparency on the gender pay gap in your organization.
- Engage both men and women: Men as a part to play, likewise the women of the world’s companies, and both need to be active participants in the process. Remember, men need to support women’s careers. That’s how we’ll achieve a workplace that is truly equal for all.
- Make flexible working a priority: While the gender pay gap is narrowing for young workers, it’s widening among working mothers. The lack of available childcare resources and inflexibility in conventional career paths and cultural family roles are one of the most critical obstacles preventing women from achieving the peak of their career.
In our world of shifting demographics, it’s important that we continue with this drive to achieve gender equality in the workplace. Gender equality isn’t just an ethical imperative, it’s a business priority.
Let’s also not forget this gender imbalance is not just about women, because I’ve been seeing a rise in female entitlement recently. Likewise, men are now made to believe that they’re becoming the sacrificial lambs of the workplace. I hear men say I didn’t get the job because I’m a man, while some women also clamor that I didn’t get the job because “I’m a woman.” Gender imbalance is just as old as the human itself. It is definitely time to call out this gender imbalance as seen from the world lens.
All we need is for men, women or however you identify yourself to have equal opportunity in whatever type of work you want to do. That’s quite an easy ask, but somehow it’s becoming very complex, so rather than unpick everything, I think we should address gender imbalance, gender inequality in the workplace.
We can have a truly gender-equal workplace when the leadership of many companies can find a way to stop labelling men and women as having unequal right in many companies. Thanks! •
Walaa holds a doctorate, is a pharmacist and social activist.