It is quite evident that equal opportunities for leadership are particularly uneven across countries and nations. Even though women have an increased presence in corporate leadership roles, they are still demeaned on the leadership level. Inequality is often related to standard gender expectations and beliefs which define how men and women ought to be. The standard masculine construct of leadership can explain less positive attitudes toward females on the managerial level.
Below are some suggestions employers can take to encourage equal opportunity for leadership in the workplace:
- Train Your managers
- Make sure to provide your management team with detailed training on gender equality. They should be educated about both the evident and the indirect discrimination that takes place in the workplace. Teach them how to identify discrimination and deal with it when it takes place and how to prevent it from arising repeatedly.
- Prioritize Your Employees’ Work/life Balance
- One of the most significant obstacle that prevent women from accomplishing their careers’ potential is the lack of childcare assistance from their employers. Organizations should consider providing employees with quality childcare facilities and make sure that family leave is available to both men and women thus offering some relief to working mothers and also encouraging the fathers to be more actively involved in childcare duties.
- Companies need to encourage equal opportunities for leadership in the workplace by working towards building a fair workplace that promote productivity while also allowing resilience, possibly with remote working.
- Remove the Gender Pay Gap
- A new culture of clarity needs to be introduced that ensures that men and women are paid equally for performing the same work, and also treated fairly and equally in leadership.
- Make Mentors Available to Everyone
- Having an experienced mentor to help guide you through the various challenges and obstacles is very helpful and it should be an access that is available to everyone whatever their gender in order to encourage equal opportunity for leadership in the workplace.
- Lack of interest in mentoring female colleagues will certainly reduce the few career advancement opportunities women have at work. Men vastly surpass women as managers and senior leaders in the corporate world, so when they prefer to avoid or exclude women, those women suffer much.
- Treating Women With Respect
- To encourage equal opportunity in the workplace takes more than just treating women with respect and basic dignity. It also means not making them feel lonely or ignoring them and making availability of resources equal for them. The purpose is to give both the men and women in your organization equal opportunities to succeed.
- Zero Tolerance Policy Against Harassment
- Management should take the responsibility to step in early to both identify and stop harassment, but somehow, cases of harassment are often ignored in many companies. This has a devastating effect in terms of productivity, teamwork and company culture. Ignoring, tolerating or mismanaging cases of harassment clearly indicates that more intense and systemic gender inequality is approved and encouraged within the organization.
- You need to crush any signs of harassment happening to any employee, especially the women, within your workplace and ensure a proper process is carried out to provide justice to the sufferer and prevent such cases from happening again.
Gender discrimination is shameful to both our workplaces and society as a whole. Interestingly though, whereas gender discrimination unfairly affects women, it turns out that both men and women gain when equal opportunities for leadership is practiced in the workplace. Promoting gender equality is not difficult, but it requires management to take the necessary actions, create guidelines and impose them in order to encourage equality. Beyond doubt, everybody and not just women will benefit from this equality.
Studies show that there is a gap in performance reviews of female leaders, which adversely impacts perception of female effectiveness. Even small changes to existing practices can reduce subjective bias and promote equal opportunities for leadership on both the social and organizational level