How To Avoid Gender Discrimination With Your Team

November 4, 2014

Angry young woman, blowing steam coming out of earsManaging a group of people is not easy. In today’s working world, organisations have more diverse people working than ever before. Females don’t just earn less, they usually have less chances in the labour market than males do. If you are a supervisor, you need to utilise these recommendations to avoid gender discrimination in your organisation.

1. Assess The Current Environment – The first step to take when trying to avoid discriminating against any gender in the workplace is to assess your current work environment. Count how many women you have working and how many men. Also, keep track of how many females are in roles of power, such as managers and supervisors, versus how many males. Although experience plays a big role here, truly look to see if the numbers are more or less equal. If not, don’t be afraid to restructure. Putting women into power not only gives other females who work for you the reassurance that you will treat them fairly, but will present your firm as one that is progressive and modern.

Other than making sure you have equal numbers of males and females working for you, also take the time to compare their salaries. Are the men earning higher wages then women systematically? If they are, change your method of determining pay, or ask an outside party, like your human resources department, to help you come up with a pay scale that is fair to both sexes.

2. Be Mindful When You Hire – In order not to be biased toward either gender, remember to be mindful when you are hiring new employees. Try to keep the numbers more or less equal. If you have 70% of males on your team, try to search for females when looking for new employees. The old way of thinking is that men are simply better at some areas, and, therefore, make better candidates for certain positions. However, that mentality has been proven wrong time and time again. Be open-minded and widen your search to include candidates you wouldn’t consider previously.

Remember that opening up the position to a woman can be very beneficial to your company. Diversity offers different levels of experience, different personalities and different points of view that can truly present new benefits to your team and company goals.

3. Offer Gender Discrimination Courses – Even if you take extra measures to make sure you are more than fair to both sexes, as a manager, you are responsible for the way your employees treat each other. Therefore, it is recommended that you teach your underlings about avoiding gender discrimination. There are many courses you can have your employees take online, or you can hire an outside firm to come in and give a presentation.

Sometimes making your staff aware of the issue, and empowering them with tools to address injustices, will transform your workplace into one that empowers women.

However, once you take this step, be prepared to deal with any issues that are presented to you. Often, employees that are being discriminated against keep quiet for fear of losing their jobs. However, if you start promoting gender equality in the workplace, you may have some team members report injustices that they have witnessed or experienced. Be ready to deal with those reports fairly and justly.

With more and more women in the workplace, it is imperative for managers to be fair to both sexes. Promoting gender equality in the workplace is a must in order to have a progressive organisation that is fair and modern.

Many thanks

Gavin Muge

Senior Trainer & Consultant

Mark Williams 3