Five Ways to Fight the Workplace Divide And Gender Discrimination

financial equality gender equality

Whether you’re reading about the countless stories of sexual harassment in Hollywood, researching the wage gap or simply talking to your favourite female, it’s obvious women still suffer in the workplace. According to The Telegraph 1 in 5 women have been sexually harassed in the workplace. The Guardian say there’s still a 9.1% gap between what male and female workers earn.

So how can women fight against this ever-present workplace divide, or what’s often called gender discrimination?

Demand what you’re owed

Fight the wage gap and ensure you get paid what you deserve. Sonya Rhodes claims, “Women undersell themselves, and people undersell women.” For this reason, it’s important women challenge workplace expectations and settle for nothing less than fair.

Otegha Uwagba suggests women should ask for 20 per cent more than they’d “instinctively judge to be fair” when it comes to money. This way a fair amount should be reached; an amount that could even turn out to be “more than you thought.” Uwagba highlights that women expect less. In asking and campaigning for more, the workplace divide could lessen.

As soon as men realise women insist they are to be taken seriously, women can’t be ignored for much longer.

Be unapologetic

It’s crucial that women in the workplace are unapologetic. Modesty should take a backseat while women navigate the workplace unapologetically. How can women do this?

  • Promote their ideas- and frequently too!
  • Put themselves forward for promotions.
  • Put themselves forward for leading important projects.
  • Make suggestions for company improvements.
  • Make complaints about inappropriate behaviour.

Blow your own trumpet

Huffington Post consider “blowing your own trumpet” as a form of self-promotion. Huffington Post explain that if you don’t do it, how will people hear about you? If you don’t boast about your talents, other people won’t either. It’s particularly important to blow your own trumpet in the workplace. It’s your work so take ownership of it!

Maybe shouting about your achievements will get you that project you want to work on or that promotion you’ve been after. The more women sing their own praises, the more likely they’ll be listened to. Women should be proud of their achievements, shout above the noise, and make certain they’re heard.

Choose confidence

Historically, men are praised for being confident and assertive; a confident and assertive woman, however, is likely to be heavily criticised. It’s important to radiate confidence in the workplace, whether you’re naturally confident or not. Fake it until you make it!

self confidence

Women are a force to be reckoned with. Allie Halter encourages women to feel confident in their work; women “work just as hard as our male colleagues and can handle the same challenges they can.” If women stop questioning their abilities and instead depict their inner confidence, women can breakdown the workplace divide.

Tackle sexual harassment

It’s easy to sweep questionable comments or behaviour under the carpet. It can even feel impossible to report sexual harassment in the workplace. The Equality and Human Rights Commission explain that “employers are responsible for ensuring that employees do not face harassment in their workplace.” If your workplace doesn’t hold sexual harassment accountable, suggest there should be a safe place for all employees to voice their concerns. In choosing to report unwanted behaviour, women can confront the workplace divide.

It’s now generally accepted that the workplace doesn’t welcome sexism. That doesn’t mean it’s not still prominent. Sexism even exists in offhand comments and lazy jokes. It’s important not to shrug off casual sexism and, to instead, call it out. Jessica Bennett explains that “recognising sexism is harder than it once was.” It can even be disguised as “friendly.” Even so, you need to question even the seemingly “innocent” comments and put sexism in its place.

Maybe you’re told you’re “too aggressive” even though your male counterpart is respected for presenting points in the exact same way you do. Maybe your boss has overstepped a line they should never even have come close to. It’s certainly Time’s Up for sexual harassment. It’s important to ensure it’s eliminated in the workplace.

It is crucial that women keep fighting against workplace struggles. Women are not yet equal in the working world and the workplace is still hostile towards their presence. There’s still an unspoken─and sometimes spoken─divide between men and women. It’s about time the workplace welcomes women with open arms.

Kathryn Terry writes for Inspiring Interns, which specialises in finding candidates their perfect internship. To browse our graduate jobs London listings, visit our website.

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