The culture around sex discrimination in the workplace has changed visibly in the last few months. The raised awareness is good, but not enough to make a difference. Managers and male coworkers need to understand the negative behaviors that fostered this situation and take steps to prevent them in the future.
A Pew survey states that 42 percent of women in the workplace experience some form of discrimination. Here are four common types of discrimination in the workplace and steps you can take to end the problem.
"Mansplaining" is explaining something to a woman that she already knows. One way for men to avoid this behavior is to only offer an opinion if directly asked for one. There are more direct and comprehensive strategies, of course, but it starts with respecting intellectual boundaries.
Set Standards to Eliminate Wage Gaps
The wage gap is a reality. Women, on average, make less for doing the same work. The best way to combat a wage gap is to set specific and well-understood guidelines for starting pay and wage increases. Standardizing pay will help ensure that no workers are being compensated unfairly.
Volunteer to Organize the Company Parties or Outings
For some reason, making coffee or arranging office get-togethers have become part of the job for many women. These office improvement chores are often never an explicit part of any workplace, but rather something that develops organically. If a welcoming environment is something that the office values, managers should consider actively soliciting volunteers from the men in the workplace rather than assuming someone (usually a woman) will just do it.
Managers: Make sure your resources are being evenly distributed
The resources needed to finish work should be widely available for all employees and, if they are being used by some more than others, then it is up to the managers to fix that imbalance. To do this, managers should take an active role in getting honest opinions on how much assistance and support every project needs.
A Better Workplace for Everyone
A workplace that is hostile to women, people of color or others is eventually going to hurt everyone. It is best for all to work toward a better working environment. Men need to do their part because changing the workplace for the better should not be "women's work."