Gender parity in the modern workplace: Strategies for organisational achievement
Gender parity in the modern workplace: Strategies for organisational achievement


Gender parity in the modern workplace: Strategies for organisational achievement

With rapid innovation and technology, modern workplaces are increasingly setting newer examples for a progressive work environment. However, when it comes to achieving gender parity, we have a more critical narrative to change. The UNDP Gender Social Norms Index report claims that around 75.09% of individuals in India hold an economic bias against women’s right to work and their standing in the workplace. Hence, organisations have a crucial task to do – establish gender parity, empower minorities, bridge pay gaps, and create a truly inclusive workplace.

Today’s modern workplaces are implementing various countermeasures to ensure better inclusivity for the underrepresented. Introducing open dialogues and dedicating time for employees and site staff to discuss grievances with HR is one way to promote an inclusive work environment. These can be further enhanced through strategic mechanisms such as listening to employee feedback, ensuring equality in terms of employee benefits, utilising technological tools, and committing to a healthy work culture. By understanding the well-being of their employees, organisations can provide better guidance and support to them. When employees feel heard and valued, they are more likely to be loyal and deliver higher productivity. This can also help leaders to manage employees and respect diversity of opinions.

Furthermore, organisations should integrate skilling and leadership workshops, focusing on behavioural and managerial skills, to equip the workforce with the skillset necessary to excel in their roles and advance in their careers. Offering education opportunities through higher education, professional degrees, or certifications, allows employees to explore professional growth within the company, including the possibility of moving across departments.

Another critical point of contention is the wage disparity between men and women. According to the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index 2023, India ranked 127th out of 146 countries globally. For organisations to achieve substantial gender parity, they must ensure pay equity and implement regular audits to ensure all employees get equal chances and opportunities. The workforce should also have fair access to resources such as leadership development, mentorship, etc., for career growth and progression.

Workplaces now have the option to rely on technology for decision-making that benefits both the company and the employees. Organisations opting for data-driven HR decisions are excelling in achieving diversity, equity, and inclusivity at work. By leveraging new age technologies, HRs can promote pay transparency, eliminate unconscious bias, and personalise incentives for all employees. They can also use AI to eliminate the bias around gender, caste, etc., during the screening of candidates, making the process truly fair and rational.

From giving more flexibility, providing structured skill development programmes, support for employees returning from a maternity or career break, organisations can bring impactful changes. Exchanges with leadership also play a significant role, providing a platform for executives and employees to build connections, promote transparent communication, and offer an informal space for employees to interact with top leadership. This can be designed to dissolve hierarchical boundaries and enhance organisational transparency, elevate employee morale, and foster a more inclusive corporate culture.
As per the latest report from Great Place to Work India – 2023, Indian organisations have improved their women’s representation within the workforce from 21 percent in 2021 to 26 percent in 2023. Adhering to these positive signs, we ought to make inclusive recruitment strategies an integral part of a company’s stance to cultivate a robust workforce and invest in the community as a whole. This will ensure the entry of a diverse workforce into an organisation and set up the background to foster better peer-to-peer, bottom-up, and top-down relationships.

On a larger level, gender inequality is a multifaceted issue that requires a coherent approach through policy changes. While big changes are needed to successfully execute company-wide policy changes, there are many smaller steps that can make a lot of difference. Offering gender-neutral bathrooms, creating digital public forums, putting together a robust complaint mechanism, providing counselling, and adopting liberal leave policies can attract a larger talent pool and bring a range of perspectives to the table. Enterprises can create employee resource groups or networks and social societies where employees can engage with others who share similar interests.

Modern workplaces must realise that leadership is a quality defined by one’s capacity and knowledge rather than their gender. This thinking will help employees realise their true potential and with the right examples in the organisation, they will aspire to achieve higher goals in their career.

At last, as the world evolves, it is critical for organisations to constantly keep a cheque on systemic barriers, foster diversity, and inclusion, and ensure equal opportunities for all employees. This will not only nurture greater employer engagement but also maximise productivity. While it is a continuous journey, businesses that are quick to adopt these strategies promise a brighter future.

Source: ET Insights