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Part II(a) #1 to #5: Equality doesn’t mean SAME | 20 ways for leaders to make a difference and promote gender diversity

  • Continuing from where we left in Part I, after understanding the core differences between men and women, owing to biological and psychological reasons, here are 20 ways in which you can leverage “Women Employee’s strengths” at workplace.

You will be surprised how simple these are! Just that we often don’t pay too much attention to these subtle nuances.

No matter what we say, we know that men are more in numbers than women at work – hence privileged too. MAKE A DIFFERENCE by following as many practices out of these 20 as you can.

If you as a MALE or FEMALE leader really take gender diversity agenda seriously, do promote these practices – first yourself and then educate others.

  1. Challenging Tasks : Encourage women on your team to take on stretch roles and challenging assignments. Give them a confidence that it’s ok even if they aren’t perfect.
  2. Interruptions during meetings : As per a research, women tend to get interrupted a lot and they let it happen, men tend to interrupt more and don’t let themselves get interrupted. As a leader – during the next meeting that you attend, pay attention to who gets interrupted by others. If it happens a lot to women in your group, you can help. Be the one who encourages and creates a space for women to speak. Say, “I’d like to hear where she was going with that idea.”It is good for her, contributes to your team, and elevates your leadership.
  3. Work Credits : Women often downplay their accomplishments, while men parade theirs openly. And all of us tend to celebrate men more than women at work. Researchers from New York University found that women get less credit than male counterparts for team accomplishments. Pay more attention to the actual output instead of presentations & stories, coach high performing women to articulate their accomplishments just in the right way, at the right time. Be careful and fair when giving Work Credits. Promote the great work done by high potential/performing women in case they are not able to do it themselves adequately, this will encourage other women employees too. They need more voices as they are less in numbers.
  4. Mentor: In almost every industry, there are not enough women in senior management to mentor all the junior women. Senior men need to jump in and do their part. If your company doesn’t have a formal mentorship program, suggest one. It’s proven that they make a difference.
  5. Social Events: During social events, it is a common practice to assign – welcoming, rangoli, singing, bouquet gift giving, and other trivial/traditional tasks to women, and technical, monitoring, planning, financial tasks to men. These unconsciously create a bias and strengthens stereotype thinking! Next time during social events, or townhalls etc. be aware what kind of tasks are you assigning or delegating women. Those are the places, where you can break the stereotypes and swap roles to start changing mind-sets and unconscious biases

Next 5 ways in the Part II (b).

Please feel free to pass on your comments even if you like or disagree! Will be great to know and debate on different perspectives.

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