There’s a growing global concern that gender-based regressions are soon to resurface, reversing the progress on gender equality that’s been fought for, for generations. A new report by UN Women has uncovered that, although both women and men have seen impacts from the pandemic, this hasn’t been spread equally when it comes to gender. Evidence shows that COVID-19 has and is reinforcing traditional social and cultural gender norms and it’s imperative that women and girls don’t lose ground and are enabled to succeed. Below are 3 ways to facilitate women to thrive at work this year given by Kaya Cheshire, head of marketing at tech company WorkClub.
Ensure women are included in key decisions and influential positions
Research proves that diversity leads to richer, more sustainable decisions for businesses and firms with higher female board representation exhibit higher overall performance.
In a study by McKinsey & Company and Leanin.org that surveyed 118 companies and more than 30,000 women and men, it was found that at every level, women are 15% less likely than men to be promoted. In part that’s because men get promoted on the basis of their potential, but women get promoted only if they’ve proven themselves with past performance. Women also find themselves caught up in the “prove it again” paradox in which social scientists have calculated that a woman must be two and a half times more competent than a man to be viewed as his equal.
Know your unconscious biases
We’re surrounded by unconscious biases throughout our daily lives, Google’s search algorithms are just one of the manifestations of our collective prejudices. Type in ‘CEO‘ and hit the images button. Just 5 out of the first 18 images that appear are men and only 4 out of 18 reflect ethinic diversity. You get the same results when you type in ‘Doctor’ and if you type in ‘Nurse,‘ you’ll never guess what? 95% women. But why not brave your unconscious biases and test yourself on projectimplicit.org. This measures your own unconscious bias about a variety of groups including gender, race and religion.
Act when it comes to diversity and inclusion
With almost 75% of businesses worldwide having equal opportunities and diversity and inclusion policies in place, it’s sometimes tough to see the problem. It doesn’t matter how much companies talk about equality and inclusiveness, unless they act upon them it’s just words. In the expression of Joanne Lipman “Incentives speak louder than any speeches by the CEO, or bias training workshops, or posters on a wall.”