Every once in a while, we see a woman lose a job after getting pregnant, when she returns to work after maternity leave, or even worse, receive a lower paycheck than the men she works with every end month. News about women being harassed by their male colleagues or having to give sex in exchange for a new employment opportunity or promotion never
What do working women go through at work?
A survey conducted recently established that small business owners do not like hiring young women. The interviewees said that childbearing and childcare were very costly and could not be sustained. In addition, some managers believe that men perform better than women.
While research indicates that the U.S. and Papua New Guinea are the only countries without any paid maternity leave for new mothers worldwide, pregnancy discrimination is rampant across the world. Pregnant women are often not picked for new jobs even though they are qualified, do not get promotions or pay rise, or are simply fired.
How does gender discrimination affect working women?
Even in a marriage setup, there are extra duties that women perform that their male counterparts do not. These include childbearing and childcare duties such as breastfeeding. These women-specific duties do not make women less intellectual or lazy, though most managers use them as an excuse to put a glass ceiling on the careers of top performing female workers.
When a woman is paid less or is jobless because of her gender, her entire financial well-being is affected. And she does not suffer alone. Her children are denied
What happens when companies create an enabling environment for female workers
Women are naturally motherly, which makes them empathetic. Having empathetic workers in a company gives an opportunity for distressed workers to share and heal. This quality also makes them sensitive to the needs of others, an attribute that helps women resolve disputes quickly. In addition, women are very creative even as they advance into marriage, making them a great asset in companies that need to stay ahead of the competition.
It has also been found that women can multi-task and multi-focus with ease, making them easily trainable. This means if they are lacking a certain skill, they can learn fast. And if needs change, they can also adapt faster. Finally, gender balance is linked to creativity and better performance at the workplace.
How to support women at the workplace
People believe that women are their own enemies, but studies have proved otherwise. According to the study by Harvard Business School, women stand a 50 per cent chance of getting hired by fellow women and 40 per cent if the exercise is conducted by men. This makes it necessary for companies to give female employees managerial roles where they can take part in decision making. In order to make this possible, talent managers are advised to re-evaluate job specifications for the senior management team to create opportunities for female decision makers.
After creating more opportunities into companies, managers need to ensure that they meet the needs of female workers. This can be done by:
- Removing gender gap in remuneration.
- Putting up measures to prevent and mitigate discrimination against women, gender-based violence and sexual harassment.
- Offering a generous parental leave and a flexible work environment especially for new mothers and parents.
- Making work/life balance a priority for all employees.
Do you think the workplace is hostile to women? Share your experience and thoughts below.