The start of this decade feels as though we are entering a new era for gender equality. The need for change and the need for equality will fuel progress. The #Metoo movement was a great example of how women came out and spoke about their traumatic experiences. All of this just goes to show women are no longer afraid to stand up for themselves and for what is right. Anyone who stands in the way of equality today is humanity’s enemy. Let’s read on to find out what the near future looks like for gender equality.
1. Amending recruitment practices - Incase of hiring for a senior management position, all barriers preventing women from applying to the role. If barriers exist, teams must identify what these barriers are and ensure they are removed. This doesn’t mean the requirements of the job have to change but a simple gender neutral application process will encourage more women applicants. Having a gender balance in the interview panel will also go a long way in establishing the right culture.
2. Eliminating the pay gap - We must admit that pay discrimination on the basis of gender has existed since women started working. The problem is at least a few centuries’ old. Each role must have a budget and that amount needs to be mentioned and paid to the employee regardless of gender. This establishes transparency and eliminates all sorts of pay discrimination. Regular audits must also be conducted to ensure pay is on par to the value of work. Although this is very obvious, the pay gap is very deep rooted in our minds and our societies and will continue to persist. A part of the problem is also with women who accept whatever is given to them rather than demanding for an equal pay. Companies and small businesses in both developed and developing countries are still finding it difficult to ensure equal pay to both genders.
3. Work-Life balance - According to the International Labor Organization (ILO) report, women perform 76.2 per cent of the total hours of unpaid care work, more than three times as much as men . Companies must come forward and support working mothers by providing relevant childcare support, grant paternal leave and allowing sufficient time off. This will relieve stress and also give women a chance to focus on their careers, it will also allow fathers to spend more time in child upbringing. Work-life balance is crucial to maintain a healthy working environment. In the view of the pandemic, flexible work arrangements can boost productivity and also instill a greater sense of belongingness to the company.
4. Stopping harassment - Workplace harassment must be identified and stopped. It’s management’s primary responsibility to ensure action is taken against offenders. Sadly, in most cases a blind eye is turned. Harassment of any sort i.e., sexual harassment, bullying, racism should be identified, reported and corrective action needs to be taken to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Ignorance towards harassment is a clear indication of gender inequality in the organisation. Ownership must be taken and women too should play their part by reporting harassment.
5. Creating an open atmosphere - Let’s be honest, gender equality cannot be fought only by one gender. Management, senior leaders should come together to create an open atmosphere where bias doesn’t exist. If departments promote or do nothing about gender equality then it’s likely that the company isn’t going to do too well. Employees need to be appreciated for their skills, talent and knowledge, nothing else. Management should also be open to hearing from employees’ their suggestions and views about gender equality and implement them if found reasonable. Remember, we all have to come together to fight the gender equality battle.
Let’s hope some of these reforms are that companies can adopt, will directly or indirectly have a great impact on society.