What is the impact of gender inequality in the workplace, and what steps can organisations take to create gender equality?
Gender Inequality – What Is It?
Gender inequality is the practice of favouring or prioritising one gender or sex over another. It is discrimination based on gender or sex. The United Kingdom ranked 22nd on the worldwide gender gap index in 2022, after European countries like Ireland, France, and Germany.
Three Examples of Influential Women
Rosalind Franklin (UK)
Rosalind Franklin was an innovative and talented young scientist who died of cancer at the early age of 37. Franklin conducted cutting-edge research on X-ray diffraction images of DNA at the King’s College London. One of her photo’s resulted in the discovery of the DNA double helix.
Milena Kadieva (Bulgaria)
Milena recently received recognition at the Women of Europe awards for establishing the Gender Alternatives Foundation that specialises in assisting victims of violence against women. The foundation has a team of psychologists, social workers, lawyers, and psychologists who support women in challenging social and economic situations.
Melinda Gates (US)
Melinda Gates is considered a powerhouse in philanthropy and is co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The foundation is aimed at solving global health and poverty issues. Her mission is to bridge the funding gap for women founders through her company Pivotal Ventures.
Statistics of Gender Inequality in the UK Employment Sector
- The gender pay gap reached its peak by 1997, with 27.5% for all employees. From 1997 until 2021, the gender pay gap has dropped by 12.1% for all employees, 9.5% for full-time employees, and 2.1% for part-time employees.
- Men are more likely to be hired full-time at a rate of 61% compared to 45% for women.
- 41% of women provide care for elderly individuals, children, grandchildren, or people with disabilities, compared to 25% for men.
- Only 35% of women are board members of the largest publicly listed organisations.
- A small percentage of 35% of counsellors in the UK is female.
The 2021 report reveals that worldwide gender parity declined from 68.6% in 2019 to 68.0% in 2020. This is mainly due to the global impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Based on the present progress, it is predicted by the WEF that it will take 135.6 years to bridge the gender equality gap globally.
What Employers and Companies Can Do to Bridge the Gap of Gender Inequality
- Encourage women’s access to industries that are male-dominated – Create opportunities for training and implement policies to create better opportunities for women.
- Target support to feminised occupations and work sectors like tourism, retail, and hospitality.
- Eliminate the gender remuneration gap – employers can create gender equality in various industries by being more transparent about salaries to ensure women are not getting less than men in similar roles.
- Utilise skills-based evaluations – employers in the United Kingdom are encouraged to perform assessments based on skills and to conduct structured interviews when recruiting new members to the team. This can help to reduce the risk of prejudicial bias.
- Create opportunities for women to mentor men – mentoring in the office can prove to be invaluable in assisting employee progression and career growth.
- Prioritise a work-life balance – this can benefit both women and men. Gender equality in the workplace broadens substantially after women have kids. The issue can be addressed through shared parental policies, supporting working parents in sharing childcare responsibilities more equally.
Workforce equality and diversity have many benefits – it generates vibrant cultures, greater creativity and innovation in the workplace, enhanced responsiveness to customer and employee needs, and assists companies in the ever-competitive business marketplace.
Many companies are aligned with these goals and are trying to meet targets as far as gender equality goes. These organisations have specific gender targets to meet governmental regulations, but there are still many businesses that can do more to establish gender equality and create a better work environment for men and women.
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