Updated: May 31
Author: Irene Gerarduz
Date of Publication: 23/02/2023
Gender equality refers to the equality between women and men with respect to their rights, treatment, responsibilities, opportunities, and economic and social outcomes. Gender equality is achieved when men and women have the same rights, responsibilities and opportunities in all areas of society and when the different interests, needs and priorities of men and women are equally valued.
How to fight the gender gap in the workplace
The gender gap can be defined as the gap that exists between men and women in so many different areas but causes negative impacts on important aspects of our daily lives, such as health, education, work, economics and politics.
The leading expert on this issue is the World Economic Forum, which each year releases a report, which it presents a picture of the gender gap around the world.
Gender gap in the workplace
One of the main causes of this gap is the poor representation of women in the workplace. Increasing women's participation in the workplace is important because it allows us to promote women's empowerment at the economic level and gives us the opportunity to create more inclusive and innovative companies.
Another main cause of the gender gap in the workplace is the wage gap between men and women, which, despite a slight improvement suffered this year, still stands at approximately 37% globally. (Source: Global Gender Gap Report 2021).
There are many women fighting the gender pay gap, among them, is Serena Williams who, in a letter to Fortune, denounced how black women's salaries are on average 17% lower than those of white women and for every dollar a man earns, black women earn 63 cents (white women 80 cents).
This applies to Serena Williams and to all women in tennis as well. So many tournaments, in fact, have decided to close their gender pay gap but others have not. For example, the Western & Southern Open in Mason, Ohio (which is the largest event held in the weeks before the United States Open), still pays women only $0.63 compared to men.
According to the New York Times, however, Roger Federer in 2015 received $731,000 for defending his title at the tournament, while Serena Williams received $495,000 for defending hers, hours after.
How much does the gender gap cost
Globally, however, according to the most recent assessment by Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research, gender equality in terms of global GDP by 2025 will be worth as much as $28 trillion.
To eliminate the gender gap, it is necessary to change our thinking and focus on outreach. To (un)learn those concepts that hinder us from progressing, it would be important to start building, all together, a new culture based on equality.
From the perspective of female workers, however, there are four aspects to focus on to fight the gender gap:
Training: specializing is an indispensable quality to make women increasingly prepared and competitive in the labor market. Even in those industries that, currently, are predominantly male-dominated.
Flexibility: women need to champion new working formulas to define their work-life balance and be able to accomplish all their goals, without having to give anything up. Especially now that smart working has been cleared through customs, women have the opportunity to redefine their rhythms.
Benefits: unfortunately, women often receive not too satisfactory economic proposals from companies. To get more benefits, one can negotiate benefits that are useful for one’s balance and career. They don’t need to involve excessive effort to the company. Important is that they could make a big difference in the lives of their female employees.
Personal branding: in the gender gap we also include the confidence gap, which is the gap in self-confidence that men and women have. To solve it, women need to start working on their personal branding, learn to self-propose, and, above all, promote themselves.
To get more benefits, one can negotiate benefits that are useful for one’s balance and career. They don’t need to involve excessive effort to the company. Important is that they could make a big difference in the lives of their female employees.
Hundreds of millions of people experience discrimination in workplace. This troubling phenomenon not only violates fundamental rights but also has significant economic and social consequences. Discrimination blocks opportunities, wastes human talent needed for economic progress, and increases social tensions and inequality.