Why Do We Expect Women to Act Like Men in the Workplace?
By now, you’ve probably understood from us that diversity and equality is big business, and extremely important to your bottom line. Even more important is the treatment of women. While many companies make huge pushes to hire women in the workplace, the fact of the matter is that women are leaving some companies at a higher rate than males. But why?
Gender equality doesn’t just mean hiring more women, or promotions. It’s about making people feel valued, says Barbara Annis, founder of the Gender Intelligence Group. While it’s true that women are underrepresented in executive positions, the gender pay gap is still large, and women almost fear motherhood because of the corporate consequences, the main point Annis says, is that there is a natural bias against women in the workplace.
Before founding GIG, Annis was a highly successful sales executive at Sony, garnering many promotions and earning a plethora of awards. Her clients loved her, but she felt she was a different person at the office, noticing she exhibited more male behavior. Disgruntled, she left, after leading a women’s business workshop. The paradigm was broken, she said. There needed to be a focus on how men and women work together, not how women can conform to acting like males in the workplace.
Annis has found that women do not leave companies because of a work-life balance as so many people think, but because they are not valued. When Deloitte Canada tried to recruit 50 percent more women accountants, they found that women had more than double the turnover than their male counterparts did. The women did not feel heard or understood, as Deloitte focused on having a “sameness” culture, where everyone was the same and companies focused on fit.
This is the problem. Companies need to embrace differences. Overlooking bias will only increase bias in the workplace, causing employees to get disgruntled and leave. Eliminating gender bias and focusing on diversity when hiring and creating a positive culture isn’t a short process though- Annis says it takes at least two years for these initiatives to ferment.
The Whistler Difference
Promoting equality in the workplace is a struggle for many companies, and sometimes they could use assistance. As the leader in corporate communications, Whistler provides a software that helps you keep up with culture and performance in your company. Through our analytics services, you’re able to track the performance of your company, gaining deep insights into your diversity practices.
Not only that, but our training can help give you specific action items in order to improve gender bias within your company. With a quick installation time, you can see the results of Whistler in just days. Wouldn’t you want an opportunity to reduce your company's turnover and create a better environment in the workplace?
Contact us for your free demo today.