42% of women report that they have faced gendered discrimination in the workplace. Moreover, statistics estimate that 1.4 million adults in the U.S. identify as trans and believe that their gender and sexual orientation are barriers to career growth and prosperity. What’s more, the discrimination and lack of career progress are visibly felt by women of color and LGBTQ+ communities.
These statistics come as a surprise considering McKinsey’s recent report that revealed that diverse companies outperform those that lack inclusivity. Plus, it’s 2021; people’s rights, including their gender expression and orientation, must be protected!
Here are some ways a company can create a gender-inclusive workplace:
One of the first things to do is to ensure the job description and advertisement for job opening doesn’t contain gendered language. Once you reach the interviewing stage, avoid asking personal and intimate questions. These include asking if a person is pregnant, their plans for marriage, or their sexual orientation. Keep it professional and stick to questions about their education, previous job experiences, skills etc.
Trainings are an easy way to ensure your employees keep up with the latest developments. You can ask employees to sign up for an online activity on gender sensitization and inclusive workplaces. Make sure that the employees receive a refresher session annually.
It’s a good idea to review company documents such as policies and employee handbooks, and remove any unnecessary and outdated use of gendered language and gender-specific restrictions.
According to federal law, every workplace with more than 50 employees needs to provide a secluded space for nursing and lactation to cater to employees with babies.
You may create a small area for employees with young children so that parents feel at peace about having their child nearby without worrying about daycare costs and being away from their little one. Moreover, you can create a gender-neutral bathroom stall to accommodate all employees of various gender identities.
Ensure that your HR policies offer various flexibilities such as maternity/paternity leaves, childcare, flexible timings, possibility of remote work, and mental health support.
While gender gaps and sexism are systemic and prevailing issues, these steps can go a long way in creating safe and gender-inclusive workplaces.
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