This is for the men. Hello, and welcome to the conversation, the fight, and the solution! Obviously, anyone is free to read this, but most women do not need to be awakened to all the ways that gender has an impact on their careers. Because they already know. And they are already “making a million adjustments” in a working world that, for the most part, was “created by men, for men. So this article is not about what women should do to help close the gender gap (though sure, some of the tips apply to everyone). It is about what men can and should be doing to become allies.
Become aware of the gap
Before change comes awareness. It is hard to notice all the ways gender impacts work if you are not the one experiencing them. So, how do you become aware? You have already started by reading this article. Progress on gender equality is slowing down. At the current rate of change, it is going to take 108 years to close the Global Gender Gap, which now stands at 68%. That adds eight years to the 2017 estimate, according to the World Economic Forum’s annual report. The index was first published in 2006, as a framework for measuring gender disparities in countries by four subindexes: Economic Participation, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival and Political Empowerment. This year, five new countries have been included — Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Oman, Sierra Leone, and Togo — bringing the total up to 149.
Extremely slow progress
Since 2006, the overall gender gap has reduced by 3.6% — but in 2018, there was only a 0.03% reduction, revealing “extremely slow progress”. But the general direction of travel is positive: of the 144 countries that were covered in 2017 and 2018, 89 have at least marginally closed their gender gap and 55 have regressed. As the report states: “Although progress continues to proceed at a very slow pace. The fact that most countries are moving toward greater gender parity is encouraging and rewards the efforts of all policy-makers and practitioners across the world that work to achieve the UN’s fifth Sustainable Development Goal: Gender equality.”
Join the gender conversation
Iceland is on the top of the World Economic Forum’s ranking of gender equality (Zimbabwe ranked 47). It is time that men become part of the gender equality discussions. That’s exactly the way we want life to be. It will be a sign of great progress. The key is to move this conversation out of being a “girl” conversation and into being an “us” conversation.
Look across the team on pay
If you are a manager with a voice in pay and raise decisions, “look across at who is doing equivalent work and are they getting paid equivalently. That applies to initial salary decisions as well as raises. Women and black people tend to start out with lower pay and then tend not to be able to catch up, one reason some countries have banned salary history questions in interviews. If a woman is doing a great job and you give her a higher percentage raise than others, that is great. But it might not be enough if she is still lagging in overall pay behind colleagues at the same level doing similar work. So make sure your employees are not only moving up, but also being compensated fairly compared to each other.
Fight against interruptions
Women are interrupted more than men, even on the Supreme Court. Both men and women can help fight the phenomenon by cutting interrupters off and making sure women can complete their thoughts in meetings. If you are a boss, you can also create a policy on a strict no-interruptions rule. But you do not have to be the boss to make a difference. Anyone should be empowered to interrupt the interrupter.
Amplify women’s voices and brag for them
Even when women are able to share their ideas, their colleagues often overlook or repeat them and get the credit. If you want to help, do what the women of the Obama administration did. When you hear your colleague share a great idea, repeat it and give her credit. For example: “Oh Chloe I love your idea of [and then repeat the idea].”
Diversify candidates and interviewers
You need a diverse slate of candidates, everyone should understand that. But that is not enough; you need to also diversify the people who are doing the interviewing. Ensuring interviewers are diverse could help reduce the tendency to hire the same kinds of people and prevent the “not a cultural fit” reasoning that can be influenced by implicit biases. There is a good chance it will also make the diverse candidates more comfortable and be more likely to accept a job.
Let women make their own decisions
Make sure you always include women in conversations about their own futures. It sounds obvious, but you would be surprised at how often they are ruled out. Not because there is some sort of evil sexist conspiracy, but because bosses make assumptions about women that they rarely do about men. — www.themuse.com