Gender inequality is a real, but subtle presence. Most people don’t even realize that they are discriminating on the basis of gender. In fact, one would say that it actually goes both ways and gender bias affects men to some extent as well. Regardless of who works in your company, it’s important to introduce a policy of treating every employee equally.
However, that’s easier said than done. Some of our gender biases are deeply ingrained and very difficult to shrug off. You can create a very gender neutral environment in your office if you following the suggestions given below.
Look at Outcomes, not the Investment
Everyone works differently and your employees are varied in terms of strength and skill. Some business owners only look at the amount of time the employees spend in the office and consider it a measure of work. It’s a better idea to actually look at the quality of the work they do. That’s really a more accurate measure.
For example, a female employee might come in a little late and leave a little early, but the equality of her work may not suffer because of it. When you measure the employee’s performance on the basis of results instead of looking at the time they spend in the office, you’re treating them all equally, regardless of their skill or gender.
Communication technology in today’s world has evolved so much that most people can easily work from home. It’s a good idea to acknowledge this and offer your employees some flexibility in work. In several cases, small business owners find that their employees are simply more productive when they’re working from home. Of course, that’s not always possible but you can give your employees that option. Again, this would help both men and women.
Don’t let stereotypes define what kinds of jobs you assign your employees. For example, don’t assume that a female employee would be great at dealing with costumers and wouldn’t be able to handle technical jobs. Similarly, don’t assume that men would know latest technological developments well but won’t be able to man the reception desk. These assumptions never work out well. Assign jobs and projects purely on the basis of merit and you’ll keep both male and female employees happy.
Acknowledge That There’s Life outside Work for Both Genders
That’s a mistake most business owners make. Your employees might be passionate about their work but that doesn’t mean that they’re going to stay parked at the desk for hours on end just doing their jobs. Employees of both genders need a life outside of work. Sometimes it’s more apparent in women because their priorities tend to shift slightly when family life enters into the picture. In such cases, you might give your female employees a little leeway.
However, you forget to give your male employees that leeway. Men also have families and they’ll want to focus on their family a little more when a new partner or a new family comes into their life.
If you keep this in mind, you’ll encourage a culture where merit is valued more than gender and other such factors.