It is not wrong to say that gender bias is the root of underdevelopment, and it reflects the backwardness or thinking of the individual or country. Gender bias is defined as when an individual faces discrimination on the basis of his/her perceived gender. When an individual receives different treatment with reference to his or her identity, then this term is also called gender bias. In simpler terms, it means the tendency for preference of one gender over another. This has been prevailing since ancient times and it affects both men and women; however, men are not as affected by it as women are. Gender bias often happens in the workplace. This article provides a general overview of how this matter affects the culture of the workplace and why companies should try to avoid gender bias.
Types of Gender Bias
Gender bias is often termed as sexism, which means preference of one sex over another, and it indicates the prejudice of mostly against women. It is a harsh truth that gender bias affects women and girls as compared to men. We are living in the 21st century, but the roots of gender discrimination are still there in the world. There are various kinds of gender bias. If we observe properly, we can see that it is present in the workplace in various forms. It is often seen in performance reviews where the head of the organisation differently reviews and assesses the performance of one gender over another. It happens even in cases where the assessment is totally merit-based.
It is also unfortunately a reality that there is discrimination in pay and reward for one gender over another. Various studies and statistics show that women are often paid less than men for similar jobs. Not only pay and reward, but gender bias also exists in the distribution of resources and materials to one sex over another. Women in the world are assigned inferior and less work than men because it is presumed that they cannot handle and manage the work properly as compared to men. You could think of getting assigned basic accounting tasks instead of being completely responsible for different clients or not being allowed to work as a bus driver for example.
Gender bias in the workplace
Gender bias is visible throughout the entire company, in different processes. It can be observed in the recruitment strategies of companies. Various research studies have shown that companies are willing and prefer to hire men over women, even if they hold similar degrees, skills, expertise, etc. Gender bias is practised in the job descriptions. The language of the advertisement for the job also reflects gender bias; words like “robust,” “strong, confident will hint towards masculinity. Nowadays, tools exist that prevent those words from being used, such as textmetrics.com, and firms are highly encouraged to use those tools or vigilantly consider the words they choose in job advertisements. It has been indicted by statistics that various companies and organisations have hired candidates on the basis of gender who are underqualified. It is also observed that women have fewer chances of promotion as compared to men.
The impact of gender bias in the workplace
Gender bias has serious effects on the culture and environment of the workplace. Some people conceptualize gender bias as an inequality in women’s rights. Gender bias is not limited to women’s rights; it has also affected the rights of minorities such as transgender, gay, lesbian, and others. Gender should not be used to determine whether or not an individual is qualified for a job, but rather on the skills, capabilities, and expertise that an individual possesses in the specific field. Gender bias negatively affects the culture of the workplace.
Gender bias in the workplace will lead to a fall in the morale of the employees and workers of the company. They often doubt their skills and expertise if they continuously face gender discrimination, which might affect the mental health of an individual. If an individual faces discrimination on the basis of sex, it might lead him/her to depression and anxiety, which is a serious concern.
Gender bias also leads to an increase in conflicts in the workplace. It is an obvious fact that discrimination will lead to gossip and arguments, and the attention of the employee will be diverted to these issues, which will lead to conflicts in the company. When there were conflicts in the company due to gender discrimination, it often led to legal actions, which put a question mark on the morale of the company. The employees who face gender discrimination might file a lawsuit against the company, and then they might have to face the repercussions of the same.
Gender bias also decreases the productivity of the organisation. If an individual is not receiving equal treatment, then it will lead to decreased productivity due to less motivation. If an individual is not feeling happy and comfortable at work, the same will happen.
Gender bias is a serious concern in the workplace. It is the duty of every employer to make their workplace free of gender bias. It can be done by promoting gender equality, better job descriptions and organizing seminars on the importance of gender equality in the workplace. There should be a diverse team of interview panels to have fewer chances of gender bias to happen. Gender should never be a factor in securing jobs in organizations; rather, it should be one’s skills, expertise, and capability that make someone get hired and eventually lead to better results and outcomes for the company and the employee itself.