Why is gender equality so important?
We really live in a world that isn't fair. All of us have a responsibility to address and help people who are in a position that need help in order for them to have more social, economic and just, more human fairness in the world.
My name is Pranapda Chirathivat, and I am a CEO, Boss Lady and founder of a gender equality platform called Dragonfly 360.
CEO/Founder of DRAGONFLY 360
Why is Gender Equality so Important?
Gender equality is giving equal opportunity to everybody despite their gender, and when gender biases happen, discrimination happens and that's when it's not an equal playing field anymore.
Gender Equality in the Workplace
Companies have a very important role to play for gender equality in moving the needle. Not only is it really good for the company to have a diverse group of employees and board members because it actually affects your bottom line; it improves your profitability when you have a more diverse group of people who are able to tell you what diverse customers want, what the marketing wants and overall people work better when there are different opinions.
Who wants to be in a company where there's only one type of opinion from an older male type of manager? That's really not something that's going to happen anymore and the future is coming so quickly that that really needs to happen sooner.
And then we've got policies that companies could put in place that affect many people's lives. It's not only good for the women themselves, it's actually good for the company, which means it's really good for society as a whole.
5 Ways to Establish Gender Equality in the Workplace
Here are some things we can do to make sure your workplace is more gender equal.
Educate Your Workers on Gender Bias
The first thing we need to do is to educate our workplace. It all starts with education.
I think people inherently do want to improve. It's just showing them how to improve, and that just starts simply with just educating your work staff on what gender biases are and how they can improve and change will happen. You'll see it.
And as a teamwork, it happens more organically when both men and women and managers and employees and everybody works together towards a stronger community and a stronger workplace. And it's good for the company. It's good for your reputation, it's good for the bottom line, like I said.
Evaluate and Standardize Pay
The second step you can do is to evaluate and standardize your pay. We've all heard about the gender gap and we've all heard about the glass ceiling.
You can open up your books and make sure that by evaluating and seeing that people should be paid the same amount for the same job.
You need to have complete transparency and honesty and see that, what can you do in your system and your company to ensure that that happens, because that goes on to attracting a good talent pool.
And by adjusting your current pay structure to make sure that it's more equitable, it just creates a whole work environment that is more fair for everybody, and everybody wants that, everybody wants to be working, given the same job and being paid the same amount for it, despite what sex you are.
Review Your Recruiting Process
The third step that you can take is to really sit there and review your recruiting, hiring process.
In the rest of the world or the western world, they actually don't allow you to put your photo when you're hiring. But in Thailand, people, employers, still request for your photograph, age, whether you have children or not, whether you're married or not.
All this actually affects you as a gender bias when you're hiring.
And so if we can educate the HR team or whoever is responsible for hiring, to be very aware of the gender biases that occur when hiring, when we are recruiting, it will make the talent pool more diverse and therefore you will end up with a better group of employees working for you and a happier group as well.
Stand Up for Gender Biases
Step four is “stand up for gender biases” when you see it happening in the workplace.
So we're talking about the simplest things such as, you can be in a boardroom, everybody is a manager, but the boss walks in and asks the only female in the room, to go get everybody water or photocopy something. That's a gender bias.
A more obvious gender bias is a bad joke at lunch where sexual remarks are being made and you see that. You can stand up for that too.
Other things are, you see uncomfortable touching happening and you can speak up also for yourself.
So what I'm saying is it starts first with you standing up and saying, You know what? This isn't right.
Or it starts with you seeing that this isn't right and standing up for somebody else. And this is a human, compassionate thing. It doesn't really require much. Everybody knows what's right and what's wrong. It's just not enough people stand up for it.
So I encourage everybody to stand up for themselves first. And if you see it happening in the organization for the other person in order for us to create a better community in the workplace.
Offer Flexible Work Options
Step five. What companies can do to improve gender equality is to avoid more flexible work hours.
We need to be more sensitive to working mothers, especially, that they are juggling a lot and it is extremely stressful.
What COVID 19 actually has done is sped this process up. We are not able to see that we can work remotely and can juggle a few things without having to get into the car.
And the nice thing is women don't have to feel so torn, especially newborn mothers who have to breastfeed at the same time and take care of their children and work.
Allowing flexible work hours allows them to do all that, so companies should be more sensitive to that and to allow that not only for women, but also for men to have more parental leave as well.
And so I think just allowing for employees to have more independence and being able to manage their time makes them happier employees. And that, I think, is what is really important to most companies.
5 Ways to Establish Gender Equality in the Workplace
1. Educate Your Workers on Gender Bias
2. Evaluate and Standardize Pay
3. Review Your Recruiting Process
4. Stand up for Gender Biases
5. Offer Flexible Work Options.
Everybody is responsible to move society towards a more gender equal place. At the workplace, it really starts with you.
If you think you're just an employee and can't make a difference, that's not right at all. You can speak up. You cannot apply to companies that you don't feel value women just as much as men, just as much as any other sex.
It really is not about what sex you are. It really is about who you are. So whether you're a CEO, more so if you're a CEO, because you have the power to make change happen right away, or a manager down to anybody, the responsibility of gender equality really begins with you.
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