Tristan Layfield discusses how men can help support their counterparts in the workplace on today’s TAP In. Remember, the fight against gender inequality in the workplace doesn’t just happen on one day throughout the year. We should constantly be assessing where we currently are, addressing the issues, and identifying how we can improve our workplaces to ensure we create an environment where women are represented, supported, and can succeed.
Tristan: What’s going on, Living Corporate? It’s Tristan, and I want to thank you for tapping back in with me as I provide some tips and advice for professionals. Today, let’s discuss supporting gender equality in the workplace.
As most of you know, this month is Women’s History Month, and earlier this month, we celebrated International Women’s Day. We also know there is a significant gap in pay and low representation in leadership for women, especially Black women, in corporate spaces. So I wanted to take some time to discuss how men can help support their counterparts in the workplace.
First, we need to challenge our biases. Maybe you’ve heard or used the phrases “men are more assertive than women,” or “after a certain age, women will struggle to balance family needs with the requirements of a senior position,” or even “women are more sensitive so they can’t handle the pressure of leadership.” These are just some of the generalizations and stereotypes used to justify the discrimination women face and impact how they are treated in the workplace. No matter if your bias is unconscious or conscious, it’s bias and helps perpetuate the gender imbalance we see in the workplace. Instead of defaulting to the idea that women won’t be able to handle their management duties, how about we work to create a balanced environment and help everyone build the necessary leadership skills to lead high-performing teams, regardless of their gender?
We also have to address the toxic situations and environments we create in the workplace. Women are often harassed, talked-over, and even gaslight in the workplace. These situations make for terrible work environments. So if you see or hear a woman being harassed in the workplace, I suggest you speak with her to figure out how you can support her. Maybe that’s addressing the person harassing her, perhaps that’s being a witness for the HR complaint, but I would never suggest taking action without consulting her first because the actions you take could have a long-lasting impact on her career. Also, stop interrupting women in meetings, and if you witness someone else doing it, address it so her voice and needs can be heard.
If you’re in a leadership role and hire for your teams, be proactive in achieving gender balance by hiring women into leadership roles. This will have both short-term and long-term implications. Research shows that if you hire one woman into a senior role, she is more likely to hire and promote more women. She will recognize her female peers’ potential and will now have the capital to advocate for them. She also will serve as a role model and representation for other women who just needed to see someone like themselves in those leadership roles.
We can’t just give women leadership roles and not set them up for success; otherwise, you’ll likely face gender imbalance again. Make sure the change you’re making is long-standing and sustainable by working to implement company-wide policies, practices, and programs that promote equity.
Remember, the fight against gender inequality in the workplace doesn’t just happen on one day throughout the year. We should constantly be assessing where we currently are, addressing the issues, and identifying how we can improve our workplaces to ensure we create an environment where women are represented, supported, and can succeed.
Thanks for tapping in with me today! Don’t forget; I’m now taking submissions from you all on career questions, issues, concerns, or advice you think may help others! So make sure to submit yours at bit.ly/tapintristan.
This tip is brought to you by Tristan of Layfield Resume Consulting. Check us out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @layfieldresume or connect with me, Tristan Layfield, on LinkedIn.