Despite our best efforts, it’s hard to ignore gender in the workplace. Gender roles and stereotypes have been reinforced in us since birth. Often, we don’t even realize our unconscious gender biases and their impact. If we truly want to create a work environment that rewards on merits, we must address gender with eyes wide open.
Andie Kramer and Al Harris, they are married practicing lawyers. They have been mentoring women and speaking and writing about gender communication for more than 30 years. They offer women unique, balanced, and highly practical advice they can use to prevent gender biases from slowing or derailing their careers. Andie and Al also present arresting information and compelling examples for male audiences to make them aware of and sensitive to the gender biases that hold women back—even in the most well-intentioned organizations. This power couple provides organizations with concrete, non-disruptive suggestions for workplace changes that will make women’s career opportunities more comparable to men’s.
Read the related blog article: The Surprising Truth About Gender Bias in the Workplace
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- Gender stereotypes have no basis in fact. The differences among women are just as prevalent as the differences between men and women. Each person is their own unique being.
- People expect women to be kind, communally focused, and soft, so when they’re direct and results-oriented, we (men and women alike) ‘punish’ them. Yet, women fight to not be held to traditional feminine expectations.
- The “Goldilocks dilemma” occurs when a woman experiences this challenge: (1) If I’m nice and kind, people like me and want to work with me, but don’t give me important work to do. (2) If I’m strong and assertive, I’m competent, but nobody wants me on their team.
- Gender stereotypes are ingrained in culture from the moment we’re born. They are reinforced throughout life which makes them very hard to even recognize or be aware of.
- Men need to recognize that women have it tougher than women in almost every work environment.
- Men need to pay extra attention to including women on their teams, giving them equally challenging assignments, and not treating women with extra sensitivity.
- Because leadership of organizations is predominantly male, there is by default a culture in which the values, the norms, the expectations revolve around a masculine view of the workplace. This is challenging given home life is often gendered in most families too, with greater obligations on the women. The interplay makes it much harder on women than men.
- To help equal the playing field, managers can offer more flexible work policies. They can offer women opportunities despite any reservations about the woman’s family pressures, allowing the woman to decide for herself.
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