The topic of gender equality continues to be an everlasting controversial issue, with some holding their firm stance that female workforce cannot optimally thrive in the workplace and gender pay gap cannot be as easily bridged in the times to come.
This heated controversial issue needs prompt addressal, questioning the believers on the why’s and why not’s, while debunking some commonly held myths about female workforce in the business.
The prevalent gap in leadership styles, physical attributes, job role choices and mental competencies to learn and adapt to challenges tend to humiliate the quality of work and career advancement prospects for women at large, across geographies.
While women are naturally born to have some specific, irreplaceable roles in their real lives such as pregnancy, baby delivery, and taking care of children, these turn out to be impediments in career progression and growth of women employees in the workforce.
Also having a fair work-life balance seems to be far from real, since they are expected to perform obligatory tasks in their personal lives to well manage both household and professional fronts at the same point in time.
See also: Pros and Cons of Female Leaders at Work
However, the gender divide in itself shouldn’t be the predetermining factor to value someone’s worth, quality and contribution at work. HR managers and employers alike should work on strategies to initiate more diversity and inclusion initiatives to bridge the gap and encourage a female-friendly workplace. Also, companies should offer fair treatment to female staff, women-friendly policies and benefits will help retain the female workforce in business.
Here are some commonly held myths about the female workforce in business, that employers need to combat:
Many people strongly believe that women by nature should focus on handling family responsibilities, they are born to raise children, and this onus on women to manage home hinders their career progression at work. Taking care of children is not the only sole reason, why female employees find it difficult to step up in their job roles.
Since men have been dominating the leadership roles through decades, women entering leadership roles is not always welcomed by the male predominance in workplace, they further fail to provide adequate support for women’s career progression initiatives within the organisation.
HR managers should create an equal opportunity workplace culture and devise policies that are made for the benefit of all, while stressing on the need for male employees to dedicate time and attention to their children, as much as women do. Such gender-bias free workplaces would help women thrive and grow in the business.
Men are commonly recognized to be more assertive, fair and daring to take up new challenges at work, women tend to take a backseat when it comes to recognition of their skills and leadership traits.
Advancements in technology has led to emergence of new leadership models, which are increasingly adopted by companies. The qualities that make up for a successful leader are influence, empathy, and adaptability, as in comparison to dictatorship style misrepresented as leadership.
Women can sense the thoughts and feelings of others, showcase empathy while responding to situations with care and concern for the staffers. Women should be encouraged to assume leadership roles based on their skills of personal interaction, rather than authoritative leadership.
Not all women can get along with other female colleagues. Some of them don’t feel fit to mentor other women in the workplace. However, a research conducted by Catalyst shows that 65% of women are developing new talent and of these women, 73% are mentoring women specifically.
Both male and female workforce are equally competent to deliver their best at work, employers should encourage gender diversity in the boardroom and adopt fair policies to treat all workforces equally, irrespective of the gender divide. Gender biased approaches at work would only foster creation of negative unhealthy environment in the workplace with discrimination taking the centre stage. It’s time to root out the evils!
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