When it comes to conversations surrounding the gender gap, a lot of people think that their industry is faring the worst, while others say that this problem exists in every organization, not just theirs. In the US alone, women aren’t rising at the same rate as men, reveals Catalyst which analyzed women in leadership among S&P 500 companies. For the rest of the world, the rate of the gender gap has only improved by a very small margin. However, the entire conversation regarding the issues has increased and more and companies are implementing programs to balance their workforce.
The gender gap is not a women’s issue — it’s a cultural issue
“These programs have focused on changing women’s behaviors, but they haven’t been accelerating women into leadership roles. The reason is that the gender gap is not a women’s issue — it’s a cultural issue,” says Forbes. One of the biggest factors that fuel this is that women lack something known as “social capital” which means that they are not getting invited into the boys’ clubs. The truth is that a lot of important company decisions happen outside the office, mainly, during drinks after work, a sports game and over coffee breaks. This also affects the number of women being mentored and men find it easier to make their ways in their professional but social groups and women are left out, although unintentionally.
Curiosity guides people to take action at work
“If we want things to change, we really need all genders on board, and, more specifically, we need senior leaders to take action because organizational culture starts at the top.” Hence, the best way to start is to tap into your natural sense of curiosity. Step one is to start looking closely at your numbers on your own, apart from HR and do this for your purpose as a leader. Step two is to find out where exactly women are falling off the wagon and compare to the trajectories of men. Step three, take notice of your work culture, are people being trained for leadership? On what basis are people chosen to be leaders and managers. Forbes says, “curiosity is a really powerful tool because what you find out will motivate and guide you to take action. The gender gap is a big, complicated topic. Many people find it overwhelming, so they do nothing.” Hence, is people take matters into their own hands, however small it may be, it can make a difference.
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