Discrimination against women in the workplace is no longer the problem it used to be but it has not been completely eliminated. Encouraging new research shows that there have been significant improvements.
A Gallup survey says that, with one exception, no matter how you slice up job satisfaction, American women are equal to or ahead of men. Fully fifty percent of women and 45 percent of men say they receive suitable recognition for their accomplishments.
It is not only in America; in Asia Mainland Chinese women now hold more senior business roles than ever before.
There is more work to be done to build on what women have already accomplished by their hard work in pushing for changes in the law. Also, by demonstrating that they can outshine men in industries that were once male dominated – such as the recruitment industry.Discrimination
Discrimination can often start at the interview stage with a hiring manager (male or female) reluctant to engage women because of that manager's outdated ideas about the capabilities of women; seeing them as a threat or thinking a woman will leave should she become pregnant, these are just a few possible conscious biases. Then there are the manager’s unconscious biases, which could be triggered by an emotional reaction to some woman they disliked in the past or even a former manager they did not like who happened to be a woman.
Business can no longer get away with eliminating women from the hiring process because they don’t have the right number of years experience, industry knowledge, language skills or any other supposed must haves - unless they can tie those 'must haves' directly achieving the stated measurable tangible SMART objectives that define the job. Women have proven again and again that even without the requisite number of years experience or specific industry knowledge cited on boring job descriptions, they can accomplish and surpass the results expected of them..
Should a woman ever be turned down for a role or a promotion, it should be a decision based on the evidence that they have not done something comparable to the specific objectives of the new role and/or that they have failed to provide sufficient proof that they do not know how to accomplish those expected results. Any other decision would be unsound and in most countries illegal.
When companies hire more women into industry sectors / professions that were previously male dominated they dramatically increase their chances of successfully growing their businesses.
This article lists the top 10 economic facts of diversity in the workplace:
Diversity fosters a more creative and innovative workforce. Bringing together workers with different qualifications, backgrounds, and experiences are all key to effective problem-solving on the job. Similarly, diversity breeds creativity and innovation. Of 321 large global enterprises—companies with at least $500 million in annual revenue—surveyed in a Forbes study in 2011, 85 percent agreed or strongly agreed that diversity is crucial to fostering innovation in the workplace.
It would be insulting to women to suggest that they should be hired simply because they are women and to not fully understand how they contribute to the innovation process. We also need to understand how to determine which women will be the best at innovation.
If you want to have a more innovative workforce then hire a more diverse workforce but in order to make a great hiring decision and chose the right candidate who can contribute to the innovation process you must know what questions to ask in an interview.
All you need is just 1 question which you simply ask 3 times.
“We need someone who can help us become more innovative. Can you give me several examples of where you contributed innovative ideas that improved the way that your department worked in last 12 to 18 months?"
Next, drill down and get the details on when it happened, who else was involved, how the innovative idea made an impact to the business, what obstacles they faced to get it done, and what support (if any) they were given. Did it inspire others to take up the idea and develop it further? What was it they learned from the experience and what would they do differently if they were faced with a comparable situation? Then ask the same question about their previous two roles. If you are hiring a woman into a managerial role, you can vary the same question by asking for real examples of where she acted upon innovative suggestions from her team.
All companies are a series of interconnected processes; we have accounting, sales, design, marketing, and operations to name a few obvious ones. Everyday the best performers are generating ideas on how to improve their process and the best managers encourage and reward these innovative steps. Innovation is often seen as some huge leap forward but in reality it usually is taking an existing product or service and making it better. In Japan 'kaizen' means continuous improvement and employees are encouraged to continuously improve the way they work.
Hire more women, diversify the workforce and create a better world with more innovative products and services.