Gender Equality At Workplace – Current Scenario and What Can Be Done
Gender bias is the most hotly debated topic the world over today. Women have made it clear through many means including social media viral campaigns and protest marches that they want an end to the inequality that has been their bane for all these years and resulted in abuse, femicide, inequality and sexual harassment.
However, in spite of all the campaigns such as Me Too and Times Up, gender equality in the workplace is still a faraway dream. It has still not been recognized that gender inequality has been the main hamper of progress in the world. Nevertheless, it is important to recognize that only by empowering women and girls is it possible to achieve all the UN Sustainable Development Goals (17 numbers) by the year 3030. It is time to start now.
According to statistics of Catalyst a non-profit CEO watchdog group, only 5 percent of S&P 500 organizations are currently being led by women. This is appalling. This is in spite of the fact that over 73 percent of the organizations have policies that demand equal work opportunities for men and women (ILO survey). This is in spite of the fact that there is a clear positive connection between the financial health of a company and its gender balance. There is only a dismal less than 20 percent occupancy by women in the governing board positions of the biggest companies in the world.
Therefore, it is fair to conclude that doing away with the gender equality deficiency is required both as a moral directive as well as improving the overall economic health. Financial research by McKinsey Global has pointed out that an additional USD 28 trillion will come into global economy kitty if men and women are paid equal amounts for their labour.
Promoting gender equality is not for the mere feel-good value at the workplace. Research and data point out that this can actually increase innovation, performance and productivity and help companies stay ahead in the competition.
This amount will be in addition to the larger profits made by companies on an individual basis. However, it is scary to note that with the current rate of progress, it would take more than a period of 220 years to close the gaps. The women and the world are not ready to wait for so long. The immediate requirement is a clear plan that would help to actively hire and keep female employees.
Some of the methods that can be used to increase gender equality at workplace include stressing its importance in the private employment sector, eliminating compensation gaps, appointing more women to decision-making positions, putting an end to sexual harassment, and increasing the ranking of the female employees, among others. All these would help to up the productivity of the organization. Governments can come up with schemes to fund female entrepreneurs and pave the way for encouraging female mentorship in large companies.
These alone do not contribute to the solution of gender equality in whole. It has to be accepted that women are still destined to bear unequal domestic burdens and succumb to pressures of the existing social milieu. This would put them in the backseat in as far as starting enterprises, attending schools/colleges, etc., are concerned. Even for those women that work jobs outside the home, the pay gap is as much as 23 percent and is a big obstacle on its own.
At the end of it all, the equality should start in the family and communities. It is not a good idea to do nothing about it and realize that the cost has been too high, for businesses as well as economies, when it is too late. It pays to eliminate any kind of gender bias and take up empowerment of women on a stronger note.
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