Gender Stereotyping and Employee Engagement: Key Aspects
Employee engagement is an important issue for every employer. However, there is no universal solution that would work for any company, boosting employee engagement quickly and effectively. Many companies have long been trying to come up with a recipe for the highest employee engagement, but all we know for sure is that engagement depends on several factors, and one of them is diversity.
According to Gallup, inclusiveness and employee engagement are connected. Engagement strategies based on gender diversity can increase revenue by up to 46% and boost net profit by as much as 58%. However, it’s not the only advantage of diversity in the workplace. Inclusive teams also make better decisions 87% of the time, and their decision-making process takes half the amount of time. Obviously, gender diversity also increases creativity and innovation. Therefore, there’s no point in considering employee engagement isolated from workplace diversity. Nevertheless, ensuring gender diversity and fighting gender stereotypes is still associated with multiple challenges.
Latest Employee Engagement Trends
1. The sense of purpose
The sense of purpose is what successful teams are impossible without. According to statistics, 57% of younger employees consider meaningfulness of their work one of the main career priorities. Every employee, regardless of their profession, can find purpose in their job. All you have to do is just help them, explaining the reasons why your company needs them and the importance of their goals.
2. Inclusion and diversity
The main reason why diversity became a trend is that inclusive teams create a psychologically safe and comfortable environment for employees. Of course, tackling the issue of unconscious bias is a difficult task, but the results are worth your effort. The environment of safety and equality cultivates a sense of belonging and boosts engagement. In addition, happy employees are more creative and productive.
3. Professional development
You can help your employees stay engaged if you provide enough learning and development opportunities. Some employers are afraid of providing fair development opportunities, being afraid that they will pay for training, and then employees will change their job. We recommend that you, as an employer, consider professional development investing in human capital. Modern employees love personal development, it makes them more engaged, and your company will certainly benefit from their professional growth.
4. Employee experience
Employee experience consists of all the feelings, observations, and thoughts that your employees get in the workplace. According to research, organizations that put a lot of effort into ensuring good employee experience demonstrate 40% lower turnover, and their workers outperform their peers by as much as 400%. We recommend that you consider all the stages of your workers’ lifecycle, starting from the onboarding process, and treat your employees like if they were your customers. Obviously, detecting and eliminating gender bias must be one of your top priorities.
Key Aspects of Gender Stereotyping and Employee Engagement
Improve your recruiting practices
To create an inclusive team, you need to start from the very beginning. How do you source and select candidates? You need to remove any unconscious bias in the recruiting process, taking into account only facts, such as experience, education, performance reviews, etc. LinkedIn alone allows you to choose from among 575+ million people, so there’s no excuse for hiring only men. We also recommend that you work on your recruiting content, making sure that it doesn’t emphasize stereotypically masculine traits as the necessary requirements for candidates.
Eliminate the pay gap
Men get paid 23% more than women. There are many reasons for this problem, and one of them is that men are more likely to ask for a raise or promotion than women, even if the latter demonstrate better performance. Of course, you cannot change all the factors that create the pay gap but you can do a wage audit, analyze the numbers, and fix any discrepancies in pay.
Ensure equal access to development programs
As we’ve already mentioned above, career development is one of the main priorities for the modern workforce. Therefore, not only should you have career development programs, but you must also make sure that they are equally accessible for both men and women. Your employees will feel more valuable and be more engaged if managers help them build confidence, creating an atmosphere of support and respect.
Offer flexible work schedules
Millennial employees consider flexible schedules a very important factor when looking for a job. However, there is a category of candidates that will especially appreciate flexibility — working mothers. They have to take care of their children, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance is often an impossible task for them. If you focus on real goals and productivity instead of the time your employees spend in the office, you will boost engagement and create a perfect environment for your female employees.
Talk about gender stereotypes and bias
Talk to your employees about gender bias, harassment, and other gender-related problems. Organize training events and make sure that women can easily access the right people to report aggression and harassment.
In addition, we recommend that you reconsider your group meetings rules, giving voice to women. Quite often, male employees tend to speak louder and to steal attention but it doesn’t mean that their female peers have nothing to say. It’s your responsibility to make sure that all employees can be heard.
Employee engagement is an important issue for every company, and it depends on many factors. Your employees will be more engaged if they feel a sense of purpose, have career development opportunities and maintain a healthy work-life balance. In turn, your company will benefit from their increased productivity and creativity. However, all your efforts to increase engagement can be easily destroyed by gender stereotypes.
Even though all the successful companies work towards ensuring complete gender equality, it’s still easier said than done. You need to address many issues, and equal pay is just one of them. You must be ready to fight gender bias starting from the recruiting process. You should also think about working mothers, offering flexible schedules. In addition, it’s important to create an atmosphere of transparency and to talk about gender-related problems, making sure that your female employees can always get the necessary support. If you want to learn more about gender equality in the workplace, check out this article for more actionable tips.
About the Author
Ester Brierley is a QA Engineer in a software outsourcing company, but thinking about her own entrepreneurial journey as the CEO of a digital creative agency. When she’s not writing about cutting-edge digital trends for College Writers, Ester takes online courses to improve her marketing skills. Follow her on Twitter.