By Henry Brown
Although gender equality has come far, there’s still a long way to go before we no longer need to work at it. The world of business is one of the areas where many people feel that a lot of work remains to be done. There are fewer women in executive and top-level positions. There are also fewer men in caring professions, such as elementary teachers and nurses. As a small business owner, you might be keen to place a focus on promoting gender equality. If you want to do this, there are many things you can try to create a better balance for your business.
Appoint equality advocates
One thing you can start with is appointing advocates for gender equality in your workplace. By creating special roles for a few of your employees, you can show that you’re passionate about making a change. However, it also helps to ensure that it’s not your responsibility alone. The advocates you appoint can take action to improve equality for your business. They can help to keep the conversation going and ensure that everyone is working toward a common goal. They can oversee any changes that are implemented to ensure they have the desired effect.
Make your facilities gender neutral
If you have a public-facing business, there could be gender issues to address. For example, you might have bathrooms with baby changing or feeding stations. Some businesses put these facilities in their female toilets. However, men often need to change a baby’s diaper too. If a father is with his baby, they would have no choice but to go into the female toilets or go somewhere else. Another thing to consider is having gender neutral toilets. Instead of male and female, have unisex toilets that are either individual stalls or private rooms.
Change how you hire
The hiring process can have a strong gender bias, even if you don’t realize it. Changing the way that you hire could have an impact on how diverse your business is. This could help not just for gender equality but for diversifying on race and ethnicity too. One of the things you can do is to remove information from applications. For example, you could remove names. You will then choose candidates based only on qualifications and experience. You could also change how you deal with salary negotiations.
Examine how you display and market products
It’s important to consider how you present your business to the public. Whether you have a brick-and-mortar store or offer a service, think about how your choices can appear. The way you market or display your products or services can make a difference. For example, if you sell toys, you might not want to separate them into “girls’ toys” and “boys’ toys.” Similarly, you should avoid marketing some products toward only one gender. Both men and women use washing powder or eat yogurt, so there’s no need to market them to only women.
If you want to improve gender equality in your business, you have to take action to promote it. There are many things you can do throughout your company to make a change.
Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.