Fostering Gender Equality: Tips for Organisations

Written by: Libby on November 2, 2023

The gender gap exists due to a lack of gender equality, and your organisation has a role to play in changing this. Your organisation can become a pioneer of the present and future. 

Here at InnovateHer, we work with organisations to improve their workplace EDI. In doing so, provide organisations with the support and ability to promote gender equality.

Did you know that 68% of UK organisations have committed to workplace gender equality?

That’s over half of UK organisations acknowledging that they don’t have equality in the workplace but want to change!

Change in an organisation starts internally, and below are some tips to use to become a change-maker.

Workplace Training

Incorporate EDI training within your workplace. EDI training provides:

EDI training provides an “illuminating path towards a more equitable and harmonious future for all. It’s through open dialogue and understanding that we can drive positive change.”

Change can’t happen overnight. It’s not a quick fix, which is why workplace EDI training is a vital step for an organisation to promote gender equality. Training helps create a system for an organisation to embed change permanently. 

Equal Pay = Gender Equality

Equal pay is a clear way of saying, “We care about equality”. It’s a non-negotiable. You cannot be an organisation that wants to promote gender equality if you do not have equal pay. 

There is still a notable gender pay gap of 18% and 26% in UK workplaces, and that in itself says a lot. It suggests that genders aren’t valued equally. That message has an impact on workplace culture. How can colleagues treat each other equally if they’re not paid the same? 

To ensure your organisation has equal pay, having an equal pay policy is essential, as this represents what you stand for.

An equal pay policy includes:

These are some of the things that will be in an equal pay policy. It is a good starting point in order to begin implementing measures that work towards equal pay. 

Fostering gender equality at your workplace will not be possible until equal pay is a priority. Otherwise, it would appear lacklustre if actions don’t’ align with the purpose. 

Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias describes “the associations we hold, outside our conscious awareness and control.”

For gender equality, it means the stereotypes around gender, traditions and beliefs that are put on people unconsciously, which hinders gender equality. For example, a woman’s skill set may not be fully valued or seen if a person has an unconscious bias towards her. 

Overcoming unconscious bias is essential for an organisation to successfully promote gender equality. Otherwise, it is hypocritical. You cannot stand for gender equality if you’re treating others with bias. 

Unconscious bias runs deep. Bias is shaped by society, media exposure, and everything around us. It takes time and dedication to remove bias.

As of 2020, only “33% of organisations in the UK had taken action to address unconscious bias in their workforce”. That leaves 77%. 77! Not making steps to address the topic. 

You may be thinking, ‘How do we overcome unconscious bias?” 

Here are some ways:

  1. Address that your organisation has unconscious bias
  2. Undertake unconscious bias training at your organisation. Training consists of noticing what leads people to make quick decisions towards others. Aiming to reduce the habits and behaviours that lead to unconscious bias.
  3. Setting EDI goals- Putting a plan in place for EDI allows your organisation to focus on the areas that need improving and make an active effort towards change.
  4. Create a safe space for employees who experience unconscious bias to speak up. This shows that you care and are taking steps to make the workplace better.
  5. Accountability is essential. Addressing when it happens and what needs to be done to change the bias. 

Hiring Habits

Altering an organisation’s hiring process also has a vital role in promoting gender equality.

Fostering gender equality starts with your hiring. Employees shape the workplace and what your organisation will grow to be, hence, why it’s imperative that the hiring process is equal. It can encourage a diverse range of applicants to support and build a gender-equal workforce.

Promoting Gender Equality and the Future:

There has been a key message throughout, and it’s that change takes commitment and effort. One that is essential not only for an organisation but for society.

By making a conscious effort, you are changing an organisation’s landscape for the present and future. Promoting gender equality in the workplace works to close the gender gap, as they both work in tandem.

You’re promoting and portraying a world that fights for everyone to be equal, with no gender being prioritised over another. That’s something we should all be working towards!

You can learn more about the ways InnovateHer can support your organisation through our 2023 Social Impact Report, which you can download here

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