5 Simple Things To Tackle Gender Imbalance in the Workplace

gender-imbalance-in-the-workplace

More and more businesses and companies are making it their priority to restore the gender balance in the workplace - and you should be too. Working to hire a fair balance of men, women and non-binary staff will not only create a more diverse atmosphere in the office, but it will also ensure you’re searching in a bigger pool of candidates, meaning you can find exceptional people with varied world views to form a powerful, productive team. But how to do it? Here are 5 simple things your business can do towards tackling gender imbalance in the workplace.


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1. Avoid unconscious bias

A recent report by TechBrain shows us how influential gendered language in job ads can be. Consider asking for CVs to be sent in anonymously so you can really check out each applicant’s work experience rather than accidentally choosing team members with certain backgrounds e.g. the kind you’re used to hiring.

It can, of course, be hard to avoid bias when meeting people in person, but to hire the best and most diverse team, be sure to focus on what candidates say at the interview stage rather than on their appearance. 


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2. Positive discrimination can be a good thing

Setting a quota for the number of men, women and non-binary people you plan to employ over the next few years is not just ticking ‘politically correct’ boxes. It is giving excellent candidates a chance to excel where they may not have found opportunities before. It is broadening the scope of your team so you have the best people for the job combined with a range of different approaches and valuable life experience.

Set a clear goal to employ a fair balance of staff with different gender identities and push to find the top candidates from each background. Diversity is ultimately invaluable for you and your team.

3. Have a workplace harassment policy in place

If you’re proud of your team and the work you produce together, then you must take equal pride in protecting them from harassment and sexist behaviour in the office. While this type of unpleasant behaviour can sometimes be directed at men too - and must be dealt with appropriately - it is women and non-binary people who bear the brunt of unfair treatment at work.

Create your policy on workplace harassment and stick to it fiercely. All your staff should feel comfortable, safe and content in their place of work. If they don’t, as an employer it’s your responsibility to address that. 

4 Close the pay gap

Any company paying its team differently based on factors related to gender is in desperate need of modernisation. If you genuinely care about keeping all your staff’s wages fair, don’t ask potential candidates what they were paid at their last job.

Audit the payroll and make sure jobs are paid based on a staff member’s role and not their gender. Paying your staff fairly regardless of their gender identity is the bare minimum you can do to make your company a place people want to work. 


Recommended reading: 6 HR Mistakes Not To Make For Small Businesses


5. Consider re-evaluating job specifications

In general, women are far more likely to have taken time away from work to raise a child.  Keep this in mind when creating job specifications so top-performing women who have also had kids can still be in the running. Aside from making the women on your team fully aware of their maternity rights, do what you can to make job descriptions realistic for women.

Think about what type of experience an applicant has as well as how long they’ve done it for. A varied skill set can often be far more valuable to a team than long-term dedication to one particular role. 

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Thursday, 21 November 2019
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