Does your workplace suffer from gender diversity issues?
According to a new published study on gender diversity in the workplace, both men and women claim to prefer working with members of the same sex.
Although this isn’t particularly shocking, since we are all well aware of gender diversity issues in the workplace, what is interesting is the fact that single-sex workplaces aren’t nearly as productive as those where men and women are working together.
Benefits of gender diversity
One of the main benefits of a gender-diverse workforce is that it allows for higher performance levels. Research has suggested that gender-diverse teams perform better as the two genders’ different ideas and insights lead to better problem solving and superior performance.
A gender-diverse workforce can also help businesses to serve a more diverse customer base. Gender diversity is something customers value and are therefore more likely to work with a company that is made up of men and women, rather than just one or the other.
Gender diversity is so important in the workplace and is something HR departments and business owners cannot afford to ignore. This means that when gender diversity issues do arise, HR workers need to take a proactive approach to tackling them.
Identifying departments that are less gender diverse
The first thing HR workers need to do in their bid to tackle gender diversity in the workplace is to identify departments that are less gender diverse. Knowing where potential problems lie is the first step to tackling them.
The next step is to develop a hiring strategy that increases gender diversity in these departments, however it is important to remember that recruitment and promotion processes must be carried our fairly. If women are simply hired to fill quotas, this will not only cause friction between them and other employees but could also harm your relationship with employees too.
Encourage engagement between genders
It is the responsibility of HR workers to tackle gender diversity issues in the workplace and get men and women working together productively.
Another way to tackle gender diversity issues in the workplace is to create an environment that enables men and women to form trusting professional relationships. Whilst men and women may prefer to work with members of their own sex, a little encouragement can show them that it is not only more productive for them to work together, but also more enjoyable.
Aside from mixing teams up now and then to get more employees working with each other, rather than the same people time and time again, you may also want to consider creating some team building activities.
Team building activities that take place outside of work (in a more casual and relaxed environment) are great for getting employees working together and will also help to build up trust and professional relationships between men and women in the workplace.
Combat gender bias
Even though it has been four decades since the Equal Pay Act was created, female managers are still earning 35% less than male colleagues performing the same jobs. It’s not just the pay where there is a huge gap between the two genders though; there is still a big gap in terms of progression to higher roles of authority too. In the majority of companies across the UK, there are still few women in the boardroom and it is believed that this comes down to the fact that ambitious women are often portrayed very negatively.
With this in mind, HR departments need to tackle gender bias in the workplace, not only by holding those accountable for discriminative comments and actions but also by providing women with the support they require to progress in their careers.