Although much of the world has made progress over the past century in the fight for gender equality and gender diversity in the workplace, there is still work to be done before all employees are treated equally. Not only that, but studies suggest that the recent pandemic has had a negative impact on gender equality and slowed down this progress. As business leaders, we have a responsibility to reverse this recent trend. We can do this by creating fair and transparent policies that promote gender diversity in the workplace.
So, what is gender diversity and why is it so important? How can you create a more equitable organization for all employees?
Let’s find out.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Understanding the importance of gender diversity
Gender diversity in the workplace is about ensuring that all employees are treated and compensated fairly, regardless of their gender. It’s about offering equal pay for equal work and ensuring you are not knowingly or unknowingly fueling a workplace gender gap. Ultimately, it comes down to offering equal opportunities to all so that every single employee has access to what they need in order to grow and develop professionally.
Why is gender diversity important?
Although the fight for gender equality has a long history, women are still underrepresented in the workplace. They are less likely to be hired for an entry position than men, even if they have the same qualifications. They are also less likely to be promoted to leadership positions or offered learning and development opportunities. Plus, women still earn, on average, 83 cents for every $1 paid to the average man. That’s why creating a culture that promotes gender diversity is so important. It’s the only way to redress this imbalance in society and create a fairer workplace for all employees, regardless of gender.
Promoting gender diversity can also have a number of positive effects on other aspects of your organization, too. For one thing, you get access to a wider talent pool and invite more diverse perspectives into your business. This helps you develop a more creative, collaborative, and innovative workforce. Plus, nurturing a diverse and inclusive culture boost employee morale, performance, and retention. It can also have a positive impact on your employer brand. All this helps you grow as a business, seize new opportunities, and boost your profitability.
7 ways to improve gender diversity at work
Now that we’ve discussed the meaning of gender diversity, let’s take a look at 7 strategies you can use to improve gender diversity in your organization.
Educate yourself and your teams on the issue
The first step in solving a problem is understanding it. That’s why it’s so important to educate yourself and your teams on issues related to the workplace gender gap.
International Women’s Day, which was celebrated around the world this week, is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the discrimination that many women face in the workplace and beyond. But you shouldn’t stop at one day – the drive for gender parity is an ongoing strategy so you need to keep the conversation going all year long.
Remind your workforce that achieving gender diversity isn’t just about hiring more women and offering equal pay for equal work. It’s a cultural and organizational shift towards a more inclusive environment where everyone has access to the resources and opportunities that they need to succeed.
Ultimately, understanding, awareness, and sensitivity are the first steps towards equity, diversity, and respect for all.
Implement gender diversity training
Following on from this point on the importance of raising awareness, gender diversity training can be a great way to educate your workforce. The right training can help your employees understand what gender discrimination is, why it’s so damaging, and what behaviors aren’t acceptable in the workplace.
A good place to start with this is offering your hiring managers unconscious bias training. We’re all guided by unconscious bias to some degree or another. We make assumptions about people based on unconscious stereotypes. This can be damaging in all areas of life, but it can be especially problematic in the workplace. Unconscious bias training can help your hiring managers identify and address their own unconscious biases. That way, you will create a much fairer and more objective hiring process that promotes gender diversity.
Prioritize fair compensation practices
If you haven’t already done one, conduct a pay equity analysis to make sure you are paying all your employees fairly. Promoting pay equity is important because your employees deserve to be compensated fairly if they’re doing work of equal value. It’s important to undertake this type of analysis on a regular basis. This will ensure you aren’t unwittingly promoting a gender or racial pay gap in your company.
Part of your pay equity analysis should also focus on promotions and succession planning. Are there enough women in leadership roles in your company? Do women have the same opportunities for progression? If not, then work on initiatives to encourage more women to apply for transfers and promotions. Remind them that you support their development.
Finally, make sure you have a well-defined compensation strategy with clear salary bands for each position. These salary bands should depend on an employee’s experience, skills, education, and performance, not their gender. Make sure all your employees are aware of your compensation strategy and your requirements for salary increases and promotions.
Develop equitable policies
Review all your internal policies to make sure they are fair and equitable. This is especially important for policies that are more likely to directly impact women. Do you offer protections against pregnancy discrimination in the workplace as established by the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act? Do you provide adequate conditions for nursing working mothers? And do you offer any benefits to support women with children in your organization?
For example, offering remote or hybrid work models or flexitime can help women balance their work with their personal responsibilities. Or you could offer childcare vouchers to encourage mothers to return to work after maternity leave. That way, women will be less likely to fall behind in their careers as a result of family commitments.
It’s also a good idea to take a look at your company culture. Is your company a good place to work, regardless of gender? Do you treat people across the gender spectrum equally? Collect employee feedback to get more insight into these matters. If you identify potential issues, implement policies to correct them so that you continuously improve as a diverse organization.
Analyze the recruitment process
Gender diversity ultimately starts with your recruitment process. If you aren’t interviewing and hiring a diverse range of candidates, then you are never going to develop a gender-diverse workforce. We already mentioned the importance of offering unconscious bias training to your hiring managers, but there are other strategies you can use to create a gender-neutral hiring process, too.
For example, make sure you are creating inclusive job descriptions that are free from gender bias. The best way to do this is by focusing on what the hired candidate would be responsible for. Candidate personas are a great tool for this. Watch the language you use, too. Make sure you use gender-neutral pronouns and avoid gendered language in general.
Also, work to proactively source a gender-diverse candidate pipeline. Many recruitment sourcing platforms have tools to help with this. For instance, you can build a search string to source qualified candidates who list LGBTQ organizations on their profiles.
Finally, make sure you have a diverse interview panel so that candidates from underrepresented groups feel more comfortable.
Pay attention to data
Diversity metrics are one of the most effective tools for keeping track of gender diversity levels in your company. They can help you measure the demographics of your organization and identify potential gender pay gaps that need addressing. Diversity metrics are also essential for measuring the impact of your DEI initiatives. Valuable metrics for this include your hiring metrics, promotion metrics, employee satisfaction levels, and retention rates.
You can keep track of all these metrics with Factorial’s HR reporting tools. For example, you can create customized dashboards that support your DEI initiatives. That way, you can visualize your most important DEI metrics and keep track of your diversity, equity, and inclusion progress. More on this below.
Conduct exit interviews
Finally, conducting an exit interview whenever an employee leaves your business can provide you with valuable feedback on your level of gender diversity. You get direct insight into their experience of working for you and whether they had any negative experiences that influenced their decision to leave.
For example, do a lot of female employees mention compensation issues? Did they experience discrimination as a result of their gender at any point? Did they feel that they had the same opportunities for development and progression as their male colleagues?
Make sure you keep a record of all this feedback and analyze data on a regular basis to see if anything stands out. If something comes up frequently, implement measures to address it.
How Factorial supports gender equity
Factorial is a huge supporter of gender equity and diversity. We believe that, with the right resources and technology, every business has the potential to be a fair employer that promotes gender diversity in the workplace. That’s why we’ve ensured that our HR software platform includes all the tools you need to promote gender diversity and support your DEI initiatives.
For example, you can use our L&D dashboard to manage all your diversity training initiatives and raise awareness of gender equity in your organization. That way, you can be sure that all your managers and employees understand what gender diversity is and why it’s so important. You can plan and monitor your training sessions through the dashboard, track employee development, and manage all your training costs. And you can use Factorial’s engagement survey tools to track employee satisfaction and gather valuable feedback.
The other big benefit of Factorial’s HRIS solution in this sense is that you can easily integrate your diversity metrics into a DEI dashboard, as we saw above. That way, you can instantly access all the insights you need to ensure you are creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment at every level of your organization.
Finally, you can use Factorial’s HRIS to enhance your gender pay gap data. For example, our solution includes tools such as a gender distribution chart, which shows you the percentage of men and women per team. You can also create gender pay reports and filter data by teams, seniority, and more. You can then use this data to identify potential gender pay gaps and take action.
All this ensures that you have all the data and insights you need to promote gender diversity and create a workplace that offers equal opportunities to all, regardless of gender.