Gender equality is rarely done right. Learn from some great examples of success.
It is important to recognize behavior that you want to happen again. Rarely are companies getting gender equality right all of the time. We need to meet our allies where they are at, and acknowledge attempts at positive change.
Most often, when consulting and speaking with organizations about gender equality, I hear these subtle, yet critical stories. These positive behaviors could look something like…
- Calling out bropropriating behavior (interruptions, taking credit for women’s ideas, mansplaining, etc.)
- Equally distributing office housework between men and women
- Having allies participate in diversity initiatives
- Ensuring meetings have diverse perspectives present in the room
- Asking “what is it like to be you” to diverse people in your organization
- Ensuring all voices are heard in a team meeting before making a decision
Building a culture of inclusion is a journey.
There is a continuum. The first step is to recognize the positive things we are doing to support diversity and inclusion. By rewarding positive behavior, you set the tone for what good looks like. It signals to others that we want to see more of this behavior in the future. If your culture struggles to recognize positive behavior, you can model what you want to see more or less of.
Organizations further down the gender equality continuum might celebrate…
- Proactively building a diverse talent pool for key roles that lack diverse candidates
- Promoting equal men and women into senior leadership roles
- Measuring and ensuring equal pay for men and women
- Having a diversity and inclusion vision with metric tracking
- Achieving gender equality at the C-suite and in board seat representation
- Establishing inclusive parental leave policies
As an ally of mine used to say, “catch ‘em doing something good.” And, when you do see something good, say something. As leaders, we signal with or actions and words what we want more from our teams. Look through the above lists and think about what your organization does well. Recognize it the next time you see it in action. Or, if there are gaps, use these as the opportunity to engage your team. Ask them what they think, ask them to step up and drive positive behavior.
Gender equality is an intentional conversation. Start with the good, and take it from there.
Like this topic?
Good news. There is more. Stay tuned for our next question in the series on starting the gender equality conversation in your organization. Next, we will tackle, “What is one thing I can do to make a positive impact on gender equality at our organization…”
Gender equality is a candid conversation.
That is why our website is packed full with resources to have this candid conversation, including:
- 5 Questions to Start the Gender Equality Conversation
- 5 Questions Video Series
- 2-minute video overviews of key topics in diversity, leadership, and career development
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