Watch Out for these Gender Bias Signs
Gender bias is the tendency to prefer one gender over the other. Often, men receive preferential treatment in the professional world.
More organizations are striving to close the gender gap in their respective industries. But, gender stereotyping might still be happening unconsciously in the workplace.
This bias is the tendency to prefer one gender over the other. Often, men receive preferential treatment in the professional world.
Even with good intentions, organizations unknowingly may be perpetuating this bias. So, it’s best to look out for these signs and stop unhealthy behavior in the office.
1. Parenthood Bias
Demanding jobs require much from employees. This means spending more hours at work, whether in the office or home. As a result, many employers believe that mothers or women, who intend to raise a family, may not be fully committed to additional tasks.
A study in the American Journal of Sociology (March 2007) revealed a bias against mothers. They are less likely to be hired or promoted. You might think it isn’t happening at your workplace.
You could be wrong.
Sometimes, stereotyping can be disguised as something else. Expecting less from moms because they can’t stay late, take business trips or attend dinner meetings is not being considerate. Limiting their responsibilities means restraining them from growing, developing and allowing them to reach their full potential.
2. Classification Bias
In many countries, people wouldn’t vote for women during elections. Despite strides in all areas of life, women are still viewed as weak, too emotional, etc. Those that break the mold are viewed as exceptions rather than the norm.
Women can be weak, but not all are. Unfortunately, in some societies, biases against women remain.
Stereotyping can also affect how managers assign tasks to their colleagues. When women are viewed as inferior, they aren’t given significant responsibilities.
So, if you’re a manager, determine first when delegating work if an employee’s gender is affecting your choices.
3. Held Beliefs Bias
It doesn’t help that many women are not confident with women leaders. They prefer to work for men. They believe that the latter is better based on gender alone.
Beliefs formed by experience or influence are ingrained in people’s minds. It’s a challenge to change and modify these.
Many women believe that they are incapable of demanding tasks or leadership roles. When this happens, they view other women as unfit too.
Many beliefs also restrain women from trying out other opportunities. Being excellent in administration but not in finance is one example. The truth is that the latter isn’t the exclusive domain of men.
There is no one surefire way of removing biases in the workplace. But, determining if these exist is already one big step.