It’s easy to think about gender equality in the workplace in numbers. But gender equality is more than that. Here are three key activities that I believe will improve not only your numbers, but also how equality in the workplace is perceived by your colleagues.
There is a difference in quantitative and qualitative gender equality. Where quantitative is more of a numbers game (how many women do you have in your organization) qualitative is more about the experienced equality (are the women treated in the same way as men). At Digitalent we were curious about the experience. We created an equality poll that we send out every sixth month with questions with gender equality in focus. The questions are about the feeling of having the same opportunities regardless if you define yourself as a man or woman or netiher. Typical questions can be: “Do you believe that women and men have the same opportunity to advance in their career at Digitalent?” or “Do you believe that women and men take the same responsibility when it comes to coffee breaks, cleaning up and taking care of the office kitchen?”. These questions are designed to give quantitative results but also in a way to get our colleagues to think about behaviours and patterns that in general might be typical male or female. This is a great way to understand if the entire organization feels that we are doing enough or if we need to do more and with what kind of focus.
All it takes is one person with some interest or knowledge (or someone who is willing to take on the task) to create an e-learning or education session about equality. And if you have a budget, spend it on an organization or individual who is educated within the area to teach your company. And don’t do it for just the managers, make it visible and useable to everyone! Who says that gender equality is only important to the persons who are leading the company? The majority in most of companies are not managers, and if you want to change behaviours and perceptions in your organization, you can’t start by excluding people.
Salary and financial aspects make up a huge part of most people’s work life. It is a legal requirement that every organization with more than 10 employees need to do a salary review every year to see if there is any difference in salary that can be directly related to gender discrimination. When you have done this, make sure to talk about it! Tell your organization about the work, and take pride in the fact that you are working with these questions. This will give you more credibility when actually saying that you work with equal pay for equal work.
This is not rocket science and not that hard to implement. Don’t forget that a small step for your co-workers might be a giant leap for the industry.
People & Growth at Digitalent