The working world is changing at an alarming pace and at this rate, it is said that the gender wage gap and the participation of women in paid work are set to suffer. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, said, “I cannot accept a world that tells my granddaughters that gender equality must wait for their granddaughters’ granddaughters.” According to the UN, it will take another 108 years to close the gender gap and 202 years to achieve gender parity at work.
Do we really have an organizational culture in which individuals feel comfortable expressing themselves freely and fully?
The conversation around diversity and inclusion is growing more and more in India, however, the truth is that not everyone is invested in it. If the working world has to be more diverse, everyone needs to be invested in it, not just a small number of people. Also, diversity mustn’t just stop at discussions and conferences, but must also be manifested in policy setting, awareness building, and implementation from the highest office at work to the entry-level employee. More importantly, employers need to ask themselves, “Do we really have an organizational culture in which individuals feel comfortable expressing themselves freely and fully?” This is because if there is a policy of inclusion, this will translate into a culture of inclusion and will, in turn, benefit countless employees as well as the company’s clientele, not to mention the community at large.
It’s not about what (or who) is better or worse, but rather acknowledging, embracing and respecting differences
In addition to this, many organizations already think they are diverse and inclusive and while some of them may be so, many of them are not and are still claiming to be so. So, who will address the elephant in the room? The truth is that bias exists on the level of the subconscious mind and therefore, people who are biased, don’t actually think they are so, because this is way their mind has worked since the beginning. Therefore, diversity and inclusion are firstly a state of mind rather than a string of conferences and company policies. “We should acknowledge that there indeed are differences between men, women, cultures, and generations in the working environment. It is not about what (or who) is better or worse, but rather acknowledging, embracing and respecting these differences in order to create the best possible outcomes for clients, employees, and society.” From the gig economy to flexible work, women can contribute to the economy is many ways, however, they do need the relevant skills to participate. Hence, skills like problem-solving, communication, listening, interpretation and design are a few that women should invest themselves if they want to thrive in The Future Of Work. This is because diversity and inclusion become irrelevant if there aren’t any women to employ in the years to come.
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