Gender inequality and bias exist when “people are treated differently and disadvantageously, under similar circumstances, on the basis of gender.” In lieu of the upcoming International Women’s Day, we have decided to look at some of the ways where women are treated unfairly at workplaces.
1. Promotion and Advancement
Around the world, there are very few women taking up high managerial or board roles in companies- even for companies who are in female-dominated industries. According to BoardAgender, only 8.3% of SGX-listed companies have women on their boards in 2013. It is said that a factor hindering women’s advancement can be attributed to work-life balance as women are unable to cope with their work responsibilities and parental duties at the same time.
The gender pay gap is a topic that will not be missed when we talk about gender inequality and it has always been argued that women are being paid less than men who hold the same job position. In the 2014 Labour Force Statistics, it is found that women earn less than men in all occupational categories except clerical and support. In most categories, the difference is more than 10%.
3. Benefits and Privileges
Some women may feel ostracised at their workplace, especially for those who work in a male-dominated segment, as it is assumed that women would have no knowledge of what the men may be conversing about. The ostracism may not be serious at first and it could start out from something seemingly “small” and “unimportant” – such as daily conversations. But as time goes by, the ostracism may result in the neglect of women to voice out and give their opinions on bigger issues and decision-making in the company.
According to a survey by The Economist Intelligence Unit last year, “56% of Singapore professional women believe females are under- represented in senior management”. The lack of female representation at the top management may result in the lack of weight in women’s “voice” when it comes to decision-making in the company. As men are believed to have better leadership skills as compared to women, the opinion and feedback of the females may not hold as much weight as compared to those made by their male counterparts.
5. Hiring Process
According to an experiment done by Stanford University, there was a clear indication of gender bias when recruiters hire for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) jobs. Changing the applicant’s name on the resume from a male to female one- even with the same qualifications and skills on both resumes, led to quite surprising results. The female applicant was deemed as less competent compared to the male applicant and the female applicant had a lower rate of acceptance and lower pay. Just imagine, all these were a result based on gender differences! Such gender bias is most likely to be prevalent in the hiring process of many industries.
What do you make of these findings? If you’ve read the article and agree that gender inequality exists at your workplace, #BeBoldForChange and stand up against it! Take action and change your workplace culture! Also, Happy International Women’s Day everyone!
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