As a business leader, you probably spend a great deal of time brainstorming ways to enhance employee innovation, increase productivity and expand your customer base. As we’ve talked about in previous posts, one of the best solutions to boosting innovation is to implement diversity and inclusion programs in the workplace. Obtaining a staff with unique […]
Bridging the Gap: 4 Ways to Promote Gender Diversity in the Workplace
As a business leader, you probably spend a great deal of time brainstorming ways to enhance employee innovation, increase productivity and expand your customer base. As we’ve talked about in previous posts, one of the best solutions to boosting innovation is to implement diversity and inclusion programs in the workplace. Obtaining a staff with unique backgrounds, experiences, and talents can heighten the creativity and overall abilities of an organization. One way to diversify your staff and generate ingenuity is simply by investing in hiring and utilizing a gender-diverse team. Getting men and women to willingly and equally collaborate can be incredibly powerful. The strategies, values, interpretations and insights of men and women are often very different. Diminishing stereotypes and breaking down communication that can resonate in the office may seem like a daunting task, but there are steps that you can take to create an open and accepting workplace in which hard working people, regardless of gender, will flourish.
1. Implement gender diversity and inclusion into your organizational goals and work culture. Some industries have been and continue to be practically gender-exclusive, being either male or female dominated. By publicly establishing your goals to diversify, as well as creating policies on dress code, sexual harassment and gender sensitivity, you can help minimize or prevent discomfort between male and female employees.
2. Keep gender disparity out of performance reviews. Good performance and high productivity should always be praised, regardless of gender and on the same note, constructive criticism or negative critiques should also be addressed neutrally. This sets a tone of equal opportunity and competition that benefits the entire organization.
3. Have a leadership team represented by both men and women. Leveraging the perspectives and talents of both men and women in your management positions and corporate board seats will position your organization to be much more competitive in today’s global market.
4. Offer professional development opportunities and workshops. This is another strategy for solidifying your gender diverse team and encouraging them to tap into their personal strengths. These should not be exclusive in any way; if someone from a totally unrelated department is really interested in attending and learning something new, their motivation and interest should be valued. Learning new skills should always be encouraged, and providing access to training or workshops to everyone shows that you value your employees and their development equally. This is also a critical component of diversifying historically male or female dominated professions. Your employees will not only feel appreciated, they will feel empowered, and this is key to building a strong, driven and diverse staff.
Whether you’re building a team from the ground up or if you’ve been in business for decades, you can find ways to implement or improve gender diversity in your organization and experience the benefits of fostering the unique insights of your employees and leadership, regardless of gender. How does your workplace measure up in terms of gender diversity and acceptance?
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