21 Feb 13 Ways Business Owners Can Encourage Gender Equality Through Company Culture
True gender equality is an elusive concept, but many businesses have started pushing for an equal playing field between the sexes. Unfortunately, many companies approach the development of gender equality in the wrong direction or are simply unsure of how best to go about it.
One of the most significant methods of promoting gender equality in the workplace comes from utilizing the company culture. Company culture forms the basis of behavior at all levels within the company and is more important to changing workplace attitudes than many business leaders might believe.
Thirteen members of Forbes Coaches Council explain exactly how businesses can encourage this shift in perspective for their workforce culture, and why that change is necessary.
1. Create The Conditions For Success
If you are looking for true gender equality then make gender diversity and inclusion a company initiative that is prioritized (tone from the top clearly promotes gender equality), operationalized (recruit and hire for gender diversity), modeled (leaders, culture, systems support gender diversity), measured (metrics are collected to track progress) and rewarded (equality is tied to company metrics). – Palena Neale, Ph.D, unabridged
2. Make It A Business Imperative
Gender equality should be viewed as a business imperative that increases profitability, not an initiative. Leading companies ensure there is more than just one employee resource group and talent program to address the various intersections of diversity and see that no group falls through the cracks. Companies continue to look for ways to fully optimize talent. Gender equality is good business. – La’Wana Harris, La’Wana Harris Inc.
3. Hire For Culture
If you want a company culture that celebrates and embraces true gender equality, then you need to hire employees that have core values consistent with this value. Unfortunately, there is no easy third-party assessment tool to use, so it is up to the hiring manager to use good old-fashioned interviewing techniques to have a verbal conversation with the prospective employee to see if they are a fit. – David Galowich, Terra Firma Leadership LLC
4. Establish Inclusive Culture Expectations
Inclusion is key in enabling positive employee engagement, organizational growth and success. Inclusive cultures align company values, set clear expectations on what inclusive behaviors look like, include key competencies in performance measures and use coaching and productive communication techniques to support continuous learning and norming employee behavior to support gender equality. – Lori Harris, Harris Whitesell Consulting