Gender neutrality in workplace: Role-agnostic culture to be key differentiator

July 15 , 2022

Source: Economic Times:

One big hurdle to gender neutrality is the still prevalent gender-bias in assigning roles to the employees. Women are still selected and employed in stereotyped roles, which are less productive and less rewarding, but more routine.

Gender equality in workplace has been a noble principle more professed than practiced for long. There still remains a big gap. International Labour Organisation reported that there are13 million fewer women in employment in 2021 compared to 2019. From February 2020 to January 2022, 1.1 million women left the jobs, accounting for 63% of all jobs lost during the period, according to another survey.

On the other side, we still saw some constructive efforts and genuine attempts to weed out gender bias in the organisations in the recent past. Even the very concept of gender equality has changed drastically. It has been redefined as gender inclusiveness and now it is the gender neutrality that is doing the rounds.

To ensure gender diversity or equality, more focus was given on improving the share of women in offices through hiring. It was all about fair representation to all genders and having a diverse mix of talents. And organisations were also trying to make everybody feel inclusive and empowered.

But, now more attention is given to the concept of gender neutrality which is obviously related to equality, but more meaningful and not interchangeable with it.  It refers to gender-agnostic policies, facilities, language and infrastructure.  We are seeing a conscious effort to change the existing work culture in terms of language. Instead of `ladies and gentlemen’, the organisations have started addressing the employees as `everyone.’ Instead of `you guys’ now we hear `you all’ and in place of `his or hers’, we often use `theirs.’ Though simple gestures, they add meaning to gender neutrality. We hear about unisex dress codes.

One good fallout of the pandemic on HR and the new normal of working from home is the focus on talents, irrespective of geographies, gender and roles. So, it definitely had an impact on talented women getting more weightage in the new age HR practices.

However, one big hurdle to gender neutrality is the still prevalent gender-bias in assigning roles to the employees. Women are still selected and employed in stereotyped roles, which are less productive and less rewarding, but more routine. Their potential is not exploited while limiting them to what we can describe as `office housework.’

A recent survey showed that globally, 26% of all CEOs and managing directors were women in 2021. However, it is better compared to 15% in 2019. In the case of the Fortune Global 500 companies, there were just 23 women CEOs. A 2020 survey by Mercer, based on analysis of 1100 organisations, found that only 29% women are in the senior management while 47% work as support staff. The situation is worse in countries like India where only 10% women are in management roles and just 5% have reached the position of CEOs. This points to the prevailing stigma that women can be assigned to only some specific traditional roles. That is one of the biggest challenges in ensuring gender neutrality.

So, we still have a long way to go towards the broader target of gender continuum, where personal identities will not matter in looks, colours, dress, facilities, language and roles.

Read More:

MORE NEWS

ALLCARGO TO GET INTO LAST-MILE DELIVERY; EYES RS 1500CR INCOME.

July 19 , 2017 | CATEGORY : SERVICES

Avashya Foundation undertakes a Tree Plantation drive in Karnataka

July 14 , 2016 | CATEGORY : SERVICES

On March 04, 2017, the Allcargo-Avvashya team defeated the Osian cricket club to win the final of th...

April 19 , 2017 | CATEGORY : SERVICES

OUR NETWORK