Last Part II(d) #16 to #20: Equality doesn’t mean SAME | Contd. 20 ways for leaders to promote Gender Sensitivity

This is the last part of this series. Refer to articles Part IPart II(a)Part II(b)Part II(c),

16. Aggression

Sometimes in a bid to compete with the male counterparts, or owing to deep core level fears of getting dominated, women consciously pick up the aggressive traits

Talk & Coach them about the need to be authentic in current times, rather than putting up any specific style. Make them aware of the impact of such aggressive behaviors in the modern work environment.

17. Self – Esteem

It is an established fact, that most of the parenting styles, unconsciously discriminate and instill a low self-esteem, specially in women. Being competitive or getting into any kind of conflict, is not encouraged from the childhood. At work, this largely hinders their growth.

Help them raise their self-esteem & confidence.

Here’s the way you can do this:

  • Expressing your happiness when they object, or put their point of view across, or when they are honest
  • Rewarding and praising them consciously and consistently
  • Showing them the bigger picture, motivating and mentoring them for bigger and larger roles
  • Bringing forth what they CAN do, focus on their strengths more
  • Asking for their ideas in meetings, they might not be very vocal themselves in groups (That’s what is taught!). They might not be comfortable interrupting others, and when they do, it is generally by default seen as rude.

 

18. Hiring Dilemmas

There are times when hiring women for a particular role becomes a dilemma –

  • Yes, it is absolutely ok to hire women for roles where feminine traits can be leveraged fully
  • However for the others, don’t let your beliefs around traveling, meeting outsiders or unknown people come your way. If a woman is interested, discuss challenges, fairly assess the competency and clarify your inhibitions with them if required.

Protect their sense of freedom & point of views – not them

19. Promote and increase the visibility of your hi-potential women

Consciously identify women who have high potential to grow and make an extra effort to promote/talk about them wherever you can, highlight their strengths in public forums & platforms, give them visibility, accentuate their performance and provide opportunities. 

20. Patience with medical issues, children, home, and other responsibilities

As a leader, pro-actively create ways to make women’s lives simpler.

  • Provide flexibility wherever possible (without changing the work expectations) – you will be surprised how they will thrive and stick to your organization
  • Provide a human touch and empathy for medical issues. Remember they don’t happen every-day. Beware of your assumptions, generalizations and fears.
  • Ask for solutions from them, remember – they are great problem-solvers and will definitely come up with more ideas when given an opportunity.
  • Provide them an ear to listen ONLY. Most likely they know the solution, if they don’t use the “Ask” approach instead of “Tell”.

 

With this, we end our series on Gender Sensitivity. Hope you liked it. Please feel free to contact us, comment, share or like this to spread the knowledge and awareness.

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