Removing gender bias is a collaborative effort
Gender bias occurs because of personal values, perceptions, traditional and orthodox ideologies one hold on to in his life. Whenever we talk of gender bias at workplace, it is commonly referred to the discrimination women face at the workplace. At an age where people and activists are advocating the thoughts of emancipation of women and the need of ‘socent’ culture, there is a ruthless fact that only 4.2% of CEOs in Fortune 500 companies are female.
We can break down gender biasness at the workplace into three different types. These are namely biasness in terms of growth opportunities, remuneration, and treatment meted out at the work place. A majority of women carry apprehensions to come out in open about such biasness. On other occasions, they just go with what they assume and don’t try to seek the reality.
If we compare traditional jobs against the non-traditional ones, we observe that women are relegated or else considered for low-paying, clerical or administrative jobs initially, as opposed to men who are more likely to be placed in career paths straightway. For example, in the manufacturing sector, women are more often assumed as not strong enough to tackle shop floor hassles. They are, therefore, considered only for table or back office jobs. The perceptions of people influence their thought process and they are driven by that. The natural cycle of a women’s life also adds to their woes. As maternity leave is considered not a mere sabbatical but more of a stop gap in their career. This also hinders their employers and their aspirations are curtailed so as to limit their considerations for potential leadership roles in their organization. Even in management functions, options are limited for them because of their limitations with mobility. Since they also have to manage their domestic front, this parallely add as a catalyst to the cause.
Gender bias at the workplace often leads to a hostile working environment. Employee motivation may be hampered. It may reach to a level where the company is in the news for all the wrong reasons. This ultimately diminishes and slowly annihilates the company’s brand image. Gender discrimination also results in loss of productivity as employees are not motivated enough to give their best. Such kind of discrimination also creates an imbalance in the workforce population as women tend to leave the corporate workplace in pursuit of better career alternatives.
Not offering fair opportunities to women may translate into lost business prospects. Women are considered to be more innovative and creative. The human resource department within an organization plays an important role in promoting equitable practices and also creating an environment to foster the best in them. To drive the message on the need to inculcate the value of fair treatment, whether be it with managers or with subordinates, is a collaborative effort.