If you’ve attended a Coeus Creative Group training, workshop, or simply visited our website, you know that we believe behavior is the core of all success and failure. For better outcomes, we need to improve our behavioral intelligence. This applies to every aspect of your life, but most importantly, gender equality in the workplace.
Before we dive deep into the behavior aspect, let’s get the full picture of the inequality many females experience in the workplace with the following statistics:
- 7 percent of Fortune 500 companies are woman-run (Source: Fortune, Jan. 2020).
- Women are paid 23 percent less globally (Source: UN Women).
According to UN Women, at this rate, it will take almost 100 years to reach gender equality.
If those numbers didn’t convince you, let’s look at some statistics that may be closer to your everyday experiences. Did you know that men interrupt women 3x more than they do other men? Women also tend to get less airtime in group discussions and are given less credit for their ideas (source).
Even worse, in a study of performance reviews, 66 percent of women received negative feedback on their personal style such as “You can sometimes be abrasive” to 1 percent of men (source). Men are expected and welcomed to be assertive and confident, but when a woman is, they’re perceived as abrasive or stuck-up.
I think it’s safe to say, it’s time to break the status quo. But, how? While change never happens overnight, here are a few behavior-based techniques to aid you in becoming a warrior of change:
Check Your Bias
We are all subject to individual biases that stem from a variety of demographics including our geographical location, the beliefs and morals we were taught as a child, our ethnicity, the list goes on and on (source). Even our gender plays an enormous role in our biases as well, and to combat that, when you’re having a negative response to a woman at work, ask yourself, “Would you have had the same reaction if a man did the same thing?” Be aware of your motives when you’re asking someone to do “behind the scenes” work.
Give Women a Voice
This might seem simple, but if women had as much as a voice as men, we wouldn’t be experience gender inequality in the 20th century. Actively solicit input from women in meetings and deliberative discussions. To that, speak up when women are being interrupted, and this not only applies to others, but yourself, and make sure to politely direct the conversation back to them. Most important, give women credit where credit is due.
Give Effective Feedback and Mentoring
It’s easy to criticize, but it’s important we make sure this is done in a constructive manner. Actively look for opportunities to give the women you work with input that can help them learn and grow, and solicit targeted feedback whenever possible.
Be loud and be proud! Don’t penalize other women for self-promotion. Make a point of highlighting their credentials and accomplishments, whether you’re introducing women coworkers, referring them, etc. their accomplishments are just as valid and important as any of your male coworkers.
Gender equality is more than just pay; it’s more than just leadership; it’s behavior. When we start to correct our daily behaviors, we are one step closer to overall systemic change and #EachforEqual.
Celebrate International Women’s Day with Coeus Creative Group today, Sunday, March 8th!
Byline: Madison Bennett and Michelle McGrann