Gender equality in the workplace

Gender equality in the workplace

Happy International Women’s Day!  March 8th was dedicated to this day since the early 1900’s.  As awareness of pay equity and harassment in the workplace grows, it is important to reflect on ways to make your workplace better for everyone through fairness and respect.

Some interesting research by Accenture can serve as guidance for us in trying to create gender equality in the workplace.  For context, women still earn $0.70 - $0.80 cents for every dollar that men earn, on average, and factors like seniority, education, and time off for parenting most often fail to explain away the gap. 

So, what can a company do to promote gender equality?  Research on culture and climate across companies shows that several factors rise to the top in explaining why some companies do better than others.  Accenture studied data from more than 20,000 men and women from 34 countries.  Those men and women had a least a college degree, so might be considered representative of many professional employees in the modern economy.  Those with greater gender equity, in addition to reducing the pay gap to less than a dime, tended to:

 

  • make gender diversity a priority, as indicated by a 63% greater likelihood of having an increase in women in senior leadership positions over the past five years
  • be transparent about their plans and progress around eliminating the pay gap
  • create a network for women’s issues, open to men and women solution seekers
  • encourage men and women to take parental leave, thus eliminating the “mommy” career track
  • create conditions hostile to harassment <link to other blog post> and welcoming of professional open reporting of incidents
  • allow flexible hours and remote work, research shows that technology that helps employees work remotely may also enable more advancement for women
  • create a pipeline to introduce high-potential female employees to developmental opportunities that will prepare them for advancement

Source: 

Gurchiek, L.  (8 Mar 2018).  These Cultural Drivers Advance Women at Work:  On International Women’s Day, see what you can do in your workforce to foster equality.  https://www.shrm.org.