By: Hazem Ibrahim
It is a common issue that most of the world faces gender inequality in the workplace. Examples are like men getting paid more than women even when both are doing the same job, that men are more likely to get a job than women, and that men are more likely to get a promotion.The best possible solutions for gender inequality in the workplace are to pass a law that requires companies to hire a certain percentage of both men and women and to have a systematic method of assigning promotions and wages.
To solve gender inequality in the workplace, companies should be required to hire a certain percentage of both men and women. Both men and women should have the same chance to get hired, and this should be required by law. According to a study by Graduate Associate Jia Ali, “Adopting diversity policies offer clear benefits for organisations and their workforce, such as resolving labour shortages and a better image for the organization. Such policies may boost employee morale and as a result improve communication processes and managerial styles as well as reduce staff turnover and absenteeism.” According to this statement, benefits of adopting diversity policies include having a sufficient number of qualified candidates, motivating employees, and a committed and satisfied workforce, which would naturally result in greater profitability. To further implement this solution, interview questions should be non-discriminatory. They should not include gender-bias questions, such as, “Do you have children?” which is usually targeted towards women.
Having a non-discriminatory, systematic method of assigning wages and promotions can potentially solve gender inequality issues in the workplace. For instance, salaries should be based on years of experience and education, and these set of criteria should be available for everyone to see. Similarly, for promotions, a systematic method should be put in place for promotion assignment. Ali suggests, “The process should be transparent and readily available to all employees in order to minimise the perception of discrimination.” For men and women to have the same chance of getting a promotion, employers should make it clear that employees require a certain set of qualifications to get the promotion. These qualifications should be fair and available for everyone to see.
A counterargument to these possible solutions to gender inequality in the workplace is that diversity policies do not always make companies fairer, and they feel threatening to men. There has been a study that shows that more than 700 companies that have diversity programs in place has barely any positive effect. In this report by Psychologists Tessa L. Dover, Brenda Major, and Cheryl R. Kaiser, they claim that, “The most commonly used diversity programs do little to increase representation of minorities and women.” In fact, when there is proof of mistreatment of women in the workplace, people are more likely to discredit this claim because of the policy in place. For instance, if a man and a woman are competing for the same promotion, and the woman claims to have not gotten the promotion because of her gender, then the employer can discount her claim by stating that the company has a policy against discrimination.
So what is the solution to this issue if simply having diversity programs in place is not enough? The key word is accountability. In order to insure a company does not discriminate towards women, diversity efforts meant to protect women should include accountability. Diversity rules must be properly studied, tested for effectiveness, and carefully put into force so that everyone that works in the company, including women, feel like they are treated equally.
In conclusion, the best possible solutions for gender inequality in the workplace are to pass a law that requires companies to hire a certain percentage of both men and women and to have a systematic method of assigning promotions and wages. These solutions will make the workplace a better place for women.