Everyone wants to work in a great workplace. Gender inequality is the dark cloud that often shadows such aspirations. Questions always linger — “Is everyone getting fair treatment? Are we all getting rewarded equally for our effort?” While it is impossible to fix all the problems in the world, you can do your little bit by making your business gender friendly, says US Standard Products, a leading supplier of workplace products and a major supporter of workplace gender parity. You can do so by following these tips:
Offer More Flexibility
Workplace flexibility means allowing your workers to adjust how they work if they still meet deadlines and quotas. Here’s why flexibility matter — women are more willing to turn down rigid high-paying jobs for less-paying flexible jobs. That is, a prospective female hire may turn down your high-paying job because it does not afford them the flexibility they need. As primary caregivers to children, women will often need the flexibility to work around their non-work obligations. US Standard Products states that by offering flexibility, you can help make your business a great place to work for more people.
Set Clear Schedules
Following on the previous point, flexibility does not mean unpredictability. While you should allow individuals to set their schedules, make sure you set clear expectations beforehand. For instance, if you need workers to be at work for a minimum of six hours a day, clearly state this and stick to it. By doing this, you make it easy for your workers to plan their lives around their schedules, a great option for anyone juggling work life and home life.
Encourage Pay Transparency
Wouldn’t it be great if you could post everyone’s salary on the company intranet? While this may be in breach of labor laws, it could help end gender pay inequality. To make your business a better and fairer place to work, says US Standard Products, consider being open about what you pay. Making it clear that you pay the same regardless of gender will send a strong signal to current and prospective employees that you are committed to providing a level playing field for all.
Give Management Training
Managers do not fail because they are bad people — most fail because they lack the training to succeed. In your business, implement a management training policy, so everyone entering management has a similar start and a strong foundation. What this does is it moves the onus from your employees having to prove themselves to your business, creating the right environment to support growth and performance.
Promote Equality, Not Sameness
The gender discussion is often mistaken to mean a push for sameness. In the workplace, it may seem that what’s good for the goose should be good for the gander. However, just because Jane asks for flexible hours does not mean John should also be subjected to the same. Similarly, if John can work long hours, Jane should not be expected to do the same. The appropriate yardstick should be performance and context. The best workplaces treat each employee as an individual with a unique context.
Gender equality is often an emotive topic, with everyone having strong, often divergent, opinions. As a business, you cannot afford to get embroiled in these discussions. What you must do, says US Standard Products, is ensure your workplace is a great place to work that favors no one person over another — whether female or male.