Why aren’t gender inclusion policies working?
Closing the Implementation Gaps in Gender Inclusion Policies
As someone who works in a number of over lapping fields that are at the intersection of gender balance, I encounter lip service paid to the efforts for the inclusion of women, on an everyday level. Every day. The reality is, that even though we have gender inclusion policies in many organisations, there are frequently huge implementation gaps. I recently heard from a multi-lingual, PhD, MBA, coaching client who said after she was illegally questioned in an interview in a global agricultural products company.
“When they put you in that position where you feel awful for being a woman and a mother, things cannot work out.”
I have run unconscious bias training workshops in hard-core, male dominated business environments where participants think that because their company has a gender inclusion policy and a women’s group, that their policies are actually happening. The practical gap can be significant. Heads of Diversity frequently have no unconscious bias training themselves. They talk to women about “allowing them the opportunity to look after their children.” They use male-coded language in their documentation and policy statements and they support male coded communication. That’s because many of them are men.