Make Way For Her – Celebrating International Women’s Day
The world of work is changing. The theme for International Women’s Day 2017 focuses on “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030.” Despite this, many claim there are deep prejudices running in conversations about female colleagues. Various research studies and reports have time and again mentioned that the gender equality suffers not just at the C-suite level but even at the entry level.
Do women come with work expiry?
Barriers in achieving gender parity at the upper echelons is more affected from the way a woman’s expiry date is perceived in the corporate world. For example in the hiring process - it is often noticed how a 25 year old young dynamic women with a good skill set, educational background is often questioned about her marriage timelines in by the human resource personnel. The fear lurking – whether she would be able to balance her work and home or not. Soon as she dispels these fears and starts coming out as performer by breaking the gender stereotypical myths, often her safety is seen as a burden by some employers - if she is working late hours or is required to travel for work. The situation often gets grim when women are often subjected to a work scrutiny when they are pregnant. Often denied a promotion or a lead role. There is again an inherent fear of whether she would report back to work after her maternity leave or not.
Without a level playing field, a female employee faces the challenges of lower advancement at every level. How does she engage with male colleagues to shift the perceptions prevalent even today in a post-feminist age when gender diversity and inclusiveness is not believed to be a priority by many in the corporate world? There is a constant scrutiny of her professional decisions basis the information of her personal life – more so when she is at the helm of a department or a project. Why is the prism inverted in trusting her leadership abilities, commitment to work and then denied promotion opportunities unfavourably?
Bridging the Gender Parity Gap
For a more gender inclusive workplace, UN leads with its Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls under the Sustainable Development Goals. With the increasing awareness on the same, many research studies have pointed on the urgent need for training and support to eliminate the gender prejudices and bias at work. There are mentoring programmes which can be initiated as an alternative. To take some concrete steps, companies can start reviewing the trends in the recruitment and appraisal process to identify if there is any sort of disparity with female colleagues. A certain cap can be reserved till the numbers improve when it comes to leadership roles. There are no one size fits all approach to achieve this, but these to a conscious movement from corporates now.
Join IPE Global in initiative #MakeWayForHer Celebrating International Women’s Day