Workplace Gender Diversity and The Role of Inclusion

Photo by August de Richelieu

How does it happen that women are expected to balance between their career and home while men are supposed to be the breadwinners of the family? While there are men who have come forward to support women in all their endeavors, why is the word “feminism” branded with so much hatred and contempt?

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It’s time we shatter toxic masculinity and make people understand that feminism’s goal is to reduce gender gaps and achieve political, economic, personal, and social gender equality. In this article, we examine things that push women out of the workplace even when many organizations say they are gender diversified.

Coworkers Sitting at a Café

Sexual Harassment

These cases ranged from unwelcome verbal, visual, non-verbal, or physical harassment at the workplace targeted at the womenfolk and a recent workplace report found that 35% of women in full-time corporate sector jobs have experienced sexual harassment. Another study also estimates that 75% of women who are subject to such hostile situations will not report their harassment. And especially when the abuser is someone in senior positions.

People often ask “why did the victim not report?” The primary reason for this is the fear of being fired. The same research also found that “75% of harassment victims experienced retaliation when they reported it.”

Unemployment Penalty

During child-rearing years, the unemployment penalty for women is longer. What this means is that when women take longer leave from work for the child, elder, and personal care, they have a much harder time getting rehired.

The report by Payscale says that “someone unemployed for less than three months faces only a 3.4 percent penalty while someone who has not worked in over a year experiences a 7.3 percent penalty.”

The report shows that the percentage of men unemployed for 12+ months between the age of 20-29 is 4% while for women it’s 11%. Between the age group 30-44, the number of unemployed men and women is 10% and 20% respectively. This ultimately reflects in the gender pay gap making it harder for women to hold senior-level positions.

Pregnancy Discrimination

The Guardian reports that over 50,000 women lose their jobs over maternity discrimination.

A type of employment discrimination, pregnancy discrimination refers to when women in the workplace are fired, not hired, or discriminated against during their pregnancy or are expecting.

The discrimination can occur in the form of offensive comments by senior officials, clients, peers, and customers regarding their physical and medical conditions. Some other ways are employers reducing a female employee’s working hours, pay, changing her benefits, refusing to promote her, or forcing her to take time off (paid or unpaid).

‘That Time of The Month’

Women all over the world have at least once in their life have been subject to prejudice when on their periods. When they show emotions like anger or irritation, they are mocked by comments like, “stop fussing. Are you on your period?”

Many women undergo grueling physical pain while on their periods. A classic example of everyday sexism is male employees considering women taking leaves while menstruating as an excuse to not come to work.

A ridiculous incident occurred in 2017 when a woman in Georgia was fired for, believe it or not, menstruating. Her “offense” was that on a heavy flow day, she stained her office chair.

In her submission with EnterpriseCEO, the Founder/CEO,, Saudat Salami who uses her platform to promote workplace inclusion benefits especially for women says that many companies have signed up to gender diversity policies but are still not doing what is required to retain the female gender in their workplace.

In order to do that, orientation has to be from the top. Management must recognize that retaining women means knowing their peculiarities and educating their employees on accommodating them.

The workplace was designed for men including work schedules and toilet facilities. Now that we want women in the workplace our inclusion policies need to accommodate and support them and their needs.

The health benefits need to include all care required for women, the work schedules should recognize and support days off for personal, child, and elder care if required as long the work deliverables are not affected. If companies can afford to, creche services and other support services like grocery delivery should be part of employee benefits.

Businesspeople Talking

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These are not luxuries; they are the domestic responsibilities that keep women away from the workplace and if you won’t get them back in or retain them these benefits need to be provided by organizations.

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