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Gender

Author: Shelagh Prosser

Summary

  • To create an organisation that provides equal opportunities for women and men, the possibilities open to them to participate and reach their full potential in the workplace should not be defined by their gender. (See What is gender equality?)
  • Evidence demonstrates that participation by men and women in the workplace is unequal. (See The disparity between men and women at work)
  • Gender diversity can bring benefits to an organisation by motivating employees, encouraging creativity and minimising turnover. (See The importance of gender diversity)
  • The barriers to gender equality and diversity include gender bias (unconscious and conscious), a lack of flexible working, the gender pay gap and occupational segregation based on gender. (See Barriers to equality and diversity)
  • Employers that take steps to identify the barriers to gender equality and diversity in their organisation are more likely to be able to develop actions that will lead to sustainable change. (See Monitoring)
  • Employers should review their policies and procedures to ensure that they do not have a disproportionately negative impact on either women or men and provide appropriate support. (See Policies and procedures)
  • Employers should review requirements regarding dress and appearance to ensure that they do not discriminate. (See Dress codes)
  • The senior managers of an organisation have a significant influence on its culture, so they should take positive steps to actively support gender equality and diversity. (See Leadership)
  • Giving assistance to new mothers may encourage them to return to work from maternity leave. (See Supporting parents)
  • Employers should understand how domestic violence can have an impact on the workplace and give guidance to line managers on how to help employees who may be experiencing abuse. (See Supporting employees experiencing domestic abuse)
  • Employers can take steps to improve the workplace for women experiencing the menopause. (See Supporting employees during the menopause)
  • Screening job descriptions and person specifications for bias, diversifying recruitment methods and instructing recruitment agencies to provide a gender-diverse pool of suitable candidates are some of the actions employers can take to improve gender diversity. (See Recruitment and selection)
  • Training on sex discrimination and gender awareness, and taking steps to ensure that decisions are made transparently and objectively, can help to minimise gender bias. (See Addressing gender bias)
  • Employers should review the gender make-up of their organisation and take action to address under-representation. (See Addressing occupational segregation, Gender diversity on boards, Talent management and Mentoring and coaching)
  • Supporting internal and external women's networks can help an organisation to support its female employees. (See Networks)
  • External campaigns focused on workplace gender equality can be a source of good practice for employers and a way of benchmarking progress. (See Gender-diversity campaigns)