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The gender gap in the 2018 workplace

The #MeToo movement has impacted the prospects of businesses, arts organizations, government institutions, schools and everywhere else. One thing they all have in common is that women have come forward to share painful and inappropriate behavior of men (although a few women have been named as well).

Woman in leadership roles

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) writes that the solution to the gender gap is to put qualified women in executive positions where they either run the show or have the power to speak. Pay and compensation packages are also part of the equation. This all adds up to making the workplace more inclusive and safer for women. Experts add that just seeing women in leadership roles reframes what other women think is possible for their own career.

Examples of diminishing women in the workplace still common

The WSJ added several examples of how women are diminished at a much higher rate than men in subtle or unsubtle ways, using the survey of 64,000 employees conducted by leanin.org. The breakdown of percentages features men first then women:

  • Being addressed in a less than professional way (men 14 percent/women 29 percent)
  • Being mistaken for a lower ranking employee (10 percent/32 percent)
  • Feeling they cannot talk about themselves or their family (5 percent/11 percent)
  • Having judgment in their area of expertise questioned (23 percent/40 percent)
  • Hearing demeaning remarks about themselves or others like them (7 percent/18 percent)
  • Needing to provide more evidence of competence (13 percent/44 percent)

Recommendations for moving forward

Each company needs to have their own approach for effectively initiating changes to balance the gender disparity in the workplace. Important starting points include having women involved in the hiring process of incoming staff and encourage unbiased hiring practices, and updating the employee handbook with help from an employment law attorney. It is also crucial to take all accusations seriously by working with a lawyer to resolve issues in order to ideally protect employees and avoid litigation down the line.

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