SIM Social Impact Movement

5 Ways to Increase Gender Equality in Your Organization

Author: Dominique Nieves

Gender equality in an organization doesn’t always seem like the easiest thing to do. Below are 5 strategies that you can employ in your organization to help close the gender gap and increase gender equality.

1. Increase the diversity of positions women occupy.

The International Organization of Employers states that one way to increase gender equality in an organization is to make sure that women are hired into all levels and positions in an organization. Have female and male managers, CEOS, and other positions from the very lowest level to the highest level. As much as possible, make certain there are equal opportunities to hire women as there are men. Increasing the diversity of positions that women occupy might also mean reworking different aspects of the jobs to better fit the employee’s life.

2. Organize workshops for employees.

During the New Rules Summit hosted by the New York Times, workshops were said to be invaluable in teaching your employees different skills that they need for the workforce; both general and specific skills such as salary negotiation and how to have constructive meetings with colleagues. Workshops can boost employee confidence and give them skills they may not have learned from a traditional education or other certification programs. Workshops can be by department or by specific job in the organization or generalized for all. Taking outside workshops could also be useful for an organization’s development, promoting the development of employee skills and bringing them back into the organization.

3. Promote open discussion.

In an organization, promoting open discussion between colleagues on the same level and colleagues at different level positions can really help for retention, growth, and an overall more comfortable workplace environment. The International Labour Organization discusses how open discussion means that is it okay to discuss things like salary if people are comfortable, how the organization handles decisions, etc. Promoting open discussion in the workplace allows for employees to feel more comfortable and confident in their jobs and allows for them to better advocate for the things that they want or need. Open discussions should be happening at all levels of an organization so that employees can boost themselves and their colleagues.

4. Normalize work hour flexibility.

According to a recent article from CNBC, promoting flexibility with hours can help ease any worries that employees have about taking promotions that may include a bump in work hours. It is often the case that there is gender disparity in different positions because of the work hours required for upper level positions. Allowing for flexibility would make it easier for employees to feel comfortable taking these positions. Flexibility in work hours could mean a lot of things for the organization including different in person work schedules, the inclusion/expansion of online work, or offering work hours on weekends and  days off.

5. Implement the changes.

McKinsey & Company discusses when there are changes made to a workplace, specifically why and how implementing change can be hard. In itself implementing changes sounds incredibly simple when it is in fact the hardest part, on paper these changes seem easy but many who have enjoyed the boat not rocking might fight against change. Change is necessary for the growth of an organization and for the betterment of all employees in the end. Going forward with changes should be slow and gradual but thoroughly implemented throughout an organization. It is about both listening to how employees feel about change while keeping in mind why changes are being implemented so that your organization can become better due to these changes.

Next Steps: Working Towards Equality

Gender equality in the workplace isn’t limited to these strategies, based on your work environment there are so many different things to be done to increase equality. Try things that you don’t see here that would work for your organization, use your organization’s uniqueness to develop different ways to promote equality.