How serious are we about promoting Gender Equality in the Workplace?
Yesterday evening, at an event in Berlin focused on Social Business, a female entrepreneur stated: “90% of our staff are women so we don’t have any gender diversity issues.”
The audible groans in the room originated from the women as well as the men.
Three months ago, at a meeting in the offices of a global financial services corporation in which the primary topics were integration of management teams and collaboration among virtual project teams, we’d just finished a very brief demonstration of cultureQs. The senior HR representative present suddenly asked: “This would be great for raising awareness of gender diversity issues within our company but do you have the specific questions?”
After I quickly selected a number of relevant questions from the cards that happened to be on the table and invited her to look through the others, she said, “Great. Could you put together a proposal?”
She liked the proposal, as did her superiors.
However, they don’t see the question as a priority.
In May, I was invited to attend a conference on Workplace Diversity. When the discussions turned to women in the workplace, the focus was on statistics and measures that organisations were taking to encourage more women to join them. Only one of the invited speakers (a Canadian woman) even mentioned how organisations need to do more to enable women to live their full potential as professionals … which, by the way, would be of great benefit to the employer too.
Understanding the inherent nature of gender diversity is an on-going process. Who would like to join … not in the debate … but in real practical positive work?