Gender Equality in the Workplace- Does your business promote it?
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Gender Equality in the Workplace- Does your business promote it?

In today’s day and age, equality should be a given- not a privilege. However, it seems that in many ways people are still discriminated against, even for something as commonplace as gender. This seems old fashioned and an issue that should have been conquered long ago, yet still it occurs every day in the British workplace.

According to a study by mumsnet, featured in Elite Business, “91% of mums surveyed believed that the ‘motherhood penalty’ – in which a woman’s career stalls after becoming a parent – is prevalent in the workplace. Additionally six out of ten mothers feel that starting a family has had a negative effect on their career.”

As a business owner, you don’t want women to feel this way. Imagine if you were in their position, or your wife or daughter was- how would it make you feel to know all their hard work was worth nothing because they brought a child into the world?

Here’s some great tips which you can implement in the workplace to ensure no woman or man is discriminated against.

Provide Family Privileges

Staff with children will have pressures and demands on them outside of the workplace. If employers can acknowledge this by offering flexible working hours or alternative working conditions, parents can balance their work/family life much easier. Some parents may need to work from home on occasions, or alternatively, they may want to start their shifts an hour early so they can pick their children up from school.

It is key that in this situation you treat men and women the same, men may be overlooked but should still be entitled to these same privileges. “It should not be a career killer for a man to ask for extended leave to look after his children” AGENDA.

If you come up with a system that works well for your male and female employees, you will get much more out of them.

The same rules should also apply in different circumstances, whatever is offered to a man should be offered to a woman and vice versa. An example of this would be if a male is given the chance to gain promotion once they have reached a certain point in their career, women should also be given this opportunity.

 Train yourself and your employees

Did you know “up to 30,000 women are sacked each year simply for being pregnant, and, each year an estimated 440,000 women lose out on pay or promotion as a result of pregnancy?”

 Why not take yourself and some managerial staff on a course which teaches all about promoting gender equality in the workplace. If your employees know how to identify any discrimination occurring, they will be able to stop it before a serious problem arises.

If your company is found to be treating women/men unfairly, it will put off any potential employees, existing employees, and with publicity- you could lose customers too. Remember, gender discrimination in the workplace can be anything from, “hiring and training only one gender for a certain type of work because it has the reputation of being “man’s work” or “woman’s work,” refusing to promote a pregnant woman because of her pregnancy, and even sexual harassment” Chron.

 50/50 Men and Women

According to an American study which was reviewed in the Huffington post, an office that is made up equally of men and women can boost productivity by 41%. The study suggests this could be because each gender can bring different skills and attributions to the workplace which together make it a better, more creative environment. For many business owners or managerial staff, it can be tempting to hire one gender over the other, however- evidently there are limitations to doing so.

In the future, make sure you follow these key points to ensure your women and men are treated equally:

–          Men and women are paid equally for doing the same jobs.

–          Women aren’t discriminated against for pregnancy.

–          Males aren’t discriminated against because they want to support their family.

–           Men and women are treated equally in an interview environment.

–          Sexual harassment never occurs.

The CEO of Salesforce, Marc Benioff, is reviewing the salaries of all his 16,000 employees to make sure female staff are being paid the same as males. He wants to ensure no discrimination occurs in his company, and he’s going to extravagant lengths to evaluate the current working environment and make it better. If a firm as large as Salesforce can ensure no gender is discriminated against, small companies have no excuse not to do the same.

If you think your employees need some training so they understand gender equality completely, and therefore know how to promote it in the workplace, Capify can provide your company with a loan from £3,500- £150,000. You could use this for hiring new staff, training purposes, or carrying out any necessary or extravagant plans you have for the future. Find out more about how we work here, or get a quote.