6 ways of confronting gender bias at work

Facing gender bias at work? We all grew up to believe that this would be less profound in the 21st century but how wrong we were! Gender biases are reflexive preferences that are innate in how we shape our worldview. These can lead to discriminations that can begin right at the first moment of contact like our first meeting or interaction. These biases can affect how welcoming an organisation can be to different people with different ideas.

Recognizing Reduction Of Gender Bias As A Priority

At any workplace, if a work culture exists right from the top of respecting all genders and a no tolerance policy for any kind of gender discrimination, every employ is bound to adapt and comply.

Initiating Conversation

Confronting gender bias within the organisation should not be a taboo or a mar on the reputation of the confronter. Conversation should be encouraged and systems should be in place to be followed whenever such a complaint arises.

Prevention Of Biased Hiring

Companies which are male dominated often show trends of hiring more males than females. If huge differences between genders are noticed in the hiring process, possibility of gender bias should be considered and dealt with. Recruiters should be asked for reasons for the low number of recruitment of female candidates and active efforts should be made to avoid large imbalances in gender proportions.

Prevention Of Bias in Salary Negotiations

This isn’t news to us that huge variation in salaries between genders for the same post exists at workplaces around the world. Recognising this and negotiating salaries purely on the basis of the candidate’s skill and experience should be the norm.

Incorporating Equal Representation In Leadership And Discussions

A company’s practices and workforce is self explanatory of its policies regarding gender bias. A company with equal representation at every conference, media events and meetings it attends is a company sending a message of incorporation of diversity. It will also create an example thus breaking biases at other workplaces. Having female star performers will go a long way in proving that an individual’s ambition and hardworking capability cannot be estimated by gender.

Diversity Training And Branding

Diversity training could become an important tool in identifying and reducing biases at individual levels.  This awareness can help people to introspect, analyse and redesign processes to counter biases. Diversity training should not lead to increase in differences; rather it should lead to an understanding of the strength in diversity. Branding of the company through visual media should involve a deliberate balance in diversity which should be a reflection of the company. This way, any individual looking to be a part of your workforce will see a place for himself/herself in your team. This would also lead to expansion of the company’s options as it would attract skilled professionals from all backgrounds, gender and ethnicity.

Thus awareness of the problem that is gender bias is half the solution. Organisations should be explicit to their managers to not let their biases do their hiring and to include candidates who represent diversity in gender, race, experience and creativity for every position

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