When we discuss workplace discrimination, gender bias is one of those topics we can’t ignore. We’re sure that all companies want to treat men and women equally. Unfortunately, though, in practice, women often don’t benefit from the same opportunities. In many companies, there is still an unfair difference in the way employees are treated. This gender bias often happens unintentionally. It’s a preference or prejudice we hold toward one gender over another.
In companies, gender bias can show up in a number of ways. Perhaps managers favor their same-gender teammates. Or recruiters ask gendered questions in interviews. Often, women also get paid less than men for the same role.
How gender bias impacts the workplace
Gender bias is very common. Research in the US shows that almost half of all women surveyed have experienced gender discrimination in the workplace. We all know that there are far fewer women in leadership positions than there are men. And in some industries, it’s a challenge to find any women for roles at all. This gender bias has a very unwelcome impact on the workplace:
- Over time, gender bias increases earning gaps and decreases the career prospects of women. It promotes the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions. Women also often receive less constructively critical feedback than men. This has an effect on their growth.
- Men also suffer from gender bias if they stray too far from the strong masculine stereotype. When men in leadership positions ask for help, they are seen as less competent. And when they ask for parental leave, people see them as poorer workers.
- Employees who don’t feel welcome and appreciated are more likely to leave. That’s why gender bias often leads to higher turnover rates amongst both women and men. In a time when talent is scarce, this is the last thing you’ll want.
Overcoming gender bias using Textmetrics
When you value diversity and inclusion, gender bias has no place in your organization. To reach your diversity and inclusion goals, it’s something you have to overcome. It’s the only way to benefit from the advantages of gender diversity. Such as more innovation, creativity and productivity amongst staff.
You can use the Textmetrics platform to write gender-neutral content. The platform analyzes your content and gives you suggestions for a more gender-neutral tone of voice. And it gives you options for words that appeal to both men and women. Should you use this for job descriptions? Then you’ll end up with job ads that appeal to both men and women. An important first step towards hiring more women and having a more balanced workforce.
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