Gender inclusivity and diversity in the workplace has become a hot topic as Gen Z has started entering the workforce and changing social expectations. It is essential that employers create an environment where people feel welcome, no matter what their gender is. There are many ways to improve gender inclusion in the workplace, and employers should take note of what these younger generations are pushing for and expecting from their leaders.
One way to improve gender inclusion in the workplace is to reevaluate how applicants are being interviewed and selected for the job. In a Kim Center for Social Balance article titled, “12 Things Employers Can Do To Improve Gender Equality At Their Workplace”, Oliver Staley states that many employers are aware of unconscious gender inequality in the workplace, they just don’t believe it’s present in their own workplace. To assure equal opportunity for all genders, the applicant pool should be expanded and diversified (Staley, 2016). When performing the interviewing process, all candidates should be asked the same questions (Staley, 2016). For example, women are often asked how many hours they can work, but men are not always asked the same question (Staley, 2016). It is important that the same questions are asked of men and women to avoid bias as to who should be hired.
Another way to increase gender inclusion is to create a safe space for employees to talk about the diversity and inclusion they are experiencing in the workplace. In an article from Process Street titled “10 Metrics and Strategies to Increase Inclusivity in the Workplace”, Molly Stovold writes that men are three times more likely to interrupt women than they are other men. This means leaders must hold effective and inclusive meetings where all employees can express their opinions and ideas. If employees, of any gender, feel undervalued or unheard, they may not produce their best work or put in as much effort as they would if they felt important and equal to their colleagues (Stovold, 2020).
It is essential that employers are inclusive in all aspects of the workplace (Stovold, 2020). One way to do this is to hold training sessions or workshops that educate employees on diverse cultures and how to avoid unconscious biases. Even physical parts of the workplace should be inclusive; for example, employers could create non-gendered restrooms for their employees (Stovold, 2020). It is important that because of changing social standards, employers understand the use of gender pronouns in their workplace (Stovold, 2020). When employers understand pronouns, their employees may feel more welcome and comfortable being themselves. Employers should welcome employees of all genders to create a productive, inclusive environment.
Staley, O. (2020, December 21). 12 things employers can do to improve gender equality at their workplace. The Kim Center for Social Balance. Retrieved September 30, 2021, from https://kimcenter.org/resources/12-things-employers-can-do-to-improve-gender-equality-at-their-workplace/.
Stovold, M. (2020, December 22). 10 metrics & strategies to Increase inclusivity in the Workplace: Process Street: CHECKLIST, workflow and Sop software. Process Street. Retrieved September 30, 2021, from https://www.process.st/inclusivity/.