Gender Equality at the workplace, is it a myth?
While there is lots being said and done about gender equality, and even with global progress in women’s pay-scale parity to men – there is much left wanting.
The workplace is still a man’s world, with a significant share of Americans (45%) who feel that the society favours men over women.
Even in this day and age, men receive preferential treatment in terms of:
- Better pay
- More lucrative opportunities and plum projects
- Better chances of career growth
So, no matter if the woman candidate is as qualified as the male; for a promotion or overseas transfer, there still exists a very tangible glass ceiling.
This leaves senior women leaders as a very rare species indeed, in today’s corporate jungle.
Know Gender Linguistics
Managing women and men at the workplace should be treated much like working with people of different nationalities. You need to embrace their differences so that they are motivated to work to the best of their ability.
For instance, your manager would know that the average German employee tends to be very punctual and methodical, while the Americans believe in a more creative and relaxed environment. Therefore you will aim to mold their work environment to best suit each of their characteristics.
In the case of different genders at the workplace, usually women are known to be gentle, collaborative, organized, emotional and nurturing, while men tend to be aggressive, pragmatic & resilient – though not always! The problem arises when you start to manage them based on the premise that they are the same people.
Let’s look at the following manager-employee exchange, and see how men and women react:
He says: It has to be done today – you will have to make it for the meeting later in the evening.
She says: Let’s try and work out how to close this job for submission by noon tomorrow. We might have to expect a long day today.
He says: Of course I can make it for the meeting tonight – I’ll just call and cancel my dinner date with the wife.
She says: Could we try and postpone this internal meeting to first thing tomorrow morning – I promised my husband to go for a dinner date tonight?
In both instances, the woman is more well-planned, flexible, focused on self rather than the company, and considerate of other’s feelings; while the man is focused, driven, harsh and a go-getter.
You need to be able to understand strengths and weaknesses, innate to their gender, and then dole out responsibilities and deadlines. Gender equality at the workplace can help:
- Attract top talent
- Reduce attrition and thus help save companies millions in hiring new people
- Better organizational performance (several research studies state strong correlation)
Thus, being gender bilingual is a core asset that every manager and enterprise should strive to achieve.