We have come a long way, especially in terms of tech advancements. The same could be said when it comes to social issues, as we have also crossed certain milestones. However, it’s only fair to acknowledge the continuous suffering of numerous demographics — particularly women and the LGBTQ+ community.
Even in modern day society, women are still not given enough opportunities. This is true across the board: in business, politics, education, or in other places. One of the key areas where we need to see a particular shift is in the workplace.
That’s where feminism comes in.
UN SDG #5: Gender Equality
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) are a set of 17 global goals. They aim to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and protect our planet for future generations. One of those goals is gender equality — SDG 5.
The feminist theory, or feminism, stands at the helm of this revolutionary movement. When talking about feminism, many people misconstrue its core meaning.
The feminist movement is not just about empowering women. It’s about creating an environment of equal opportunities for all genders. It’s also about advocating against discrimination or prejudice.
Feminism encompasses all. Trans women, Black women, women of color, married women, you name it.
At its core, it aims to achieve equal rights for all, and it begins with promoting women’s equality with others.
Feminism in the workplace contributes greatly to this mission.
Gender Inequality In The Workplace
Gender inequality still exists in the workplace, as evidenced by feminist literature. Women are often paid less than men for similar jobs and experience unequal growth opportunities. Women are also more likely to be sexually harassed in the workplace than men.
This not only affects the woman but also their families. This can lead to a decrease in their quality of life, and could even result in homelessness or poverty.
This glaring inequality also shows in other factors, such as:
The Glass Ceiling
Women are less likely to be promoted than men. This phenomenon is what’s called the proverbial glass ceiling. It pertains to a barrier for women that prevents them from moving up the corporate ladder.
Women are either denied promotions altogether. Other times, they are offered positions at lower levels than similarly qualified men. This is why companies must have policies that ensure equal chances for all.
Limited Access To Resources
Another factor that makes things difficult for women is limited access to resources. Women often don’t have access to the same training, development, or mentorship programs as men do.
This limitation can lead to fewer job prospects. It also restricts career advancement options.
Restriction In Authority
Women in the workplace are often restricted from taking on higher-level positions. This can limit their ability to gain experience and skills. It turn, it could hold them back from advancing in their careers.
Power Imbalance & Sexual Harassment
The power imbalance between genders in the workplace is still rampant. It can lead to instances of sexual harassment, abuse, or assault. This is a major concern in many industries and must be solved at once.
The Role Of Feminism In The Workplace
At the workplace, feminism looks to combat the gender divide that exists. Whether it’s wages, promotions, or job titles, feminism tackles it.
It also promotes a safe and positive working environment. This entails a space free of harassment and prejudiced practices.
Here’s how workplaces can exercise feminism to promote gender equality:
Creating Equal Opportunities
Companies should strive to create equal job opportunities for all genders. They should also ensure that their hiring and promotion policies are based on merit, not gender.
This will help bridge the gap between male and female workers in terms of pay, promotions, and other benefits.
Providing Resources & Training Programs
Companies should also provide appropriate resources. For example, take training and development programs for female employees. This will equip them with the required skills and knowledge to climb up.
Adopting Zero-Tolerance Policies
Lastly, workplaces must adopt zero-tolerance policies for any kind of discrimination or harassment. This must encompass everything. Be it due to sexual orientation, gender identity, or otherwise, no prejudice shall prevail.
When We Empower Women, We Empower All
At the end of the day, feminism is key in fostering equality. After all, it creates an environment of equal chances for all genders. Together, let us eliminate these barriers and provide resources to empower female employees.
That way, we can ensure that everyone has an equal chance of success. When we empower women, we empower all.
Women play are a crucial demographic when it comes to overall societal progress and growth. It’s only when we all have an equal chance to grow career-wise that we can progress to an equitable future.
More specifically, workplace feminism and gender equality can yield the following benefits:
Enhanced Productivity & Performance
When women are given equal access to resources, they can work more efficiently and effectively. This leads to better performance outcomes and improved productivity.
Greater Job Satisfaction & Retention
Equal opportunities also lead to greater job satisfaction among female employees. This means less turnover and higher retention rates for the company in the long run.
Increased Profits & Earnings
What happens when women are given the same opportunities as men? Businesses can benefit from increased profits and earnings.
This is due to a larger pool of qualified employees that can bring in more revenue for the company.
The Feminist Movement
For so long now, women have faced unjust discrimination despite their unparalleled contributions to society. This prejudice led to the feminist movement, which rode in several waves.
First Wave Feminism
The first wave took place in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It sought to create equal legal women’s rights, such as the right to vote.
This is also popularly known as women’s suffrage, which was largely influenced by the first world war.
Second Wave Feminism
Women gave rise to this movement in the 1960s and ‘70s. It aimed to achieve wider social and political freedoms. It also sought for greater representation of women in public life.
This women’s rights movement was — and still is, a revolutionary form of political activism.
Third Wave Feminism
This wave emerged in the 1980s. It focused on women’s liberation concerning female sexuality and reproductive rights. The third wave also battled to dismantle traditional gender roles that oppress women.
In the present, feminism looks to combat all forms of inequality experienced by women. From workplace discrimination to poverty, it tackles all.
The goal is to ensure that every woman has an equal chance at success regardless of her footing.
B Corps That Champion Gender Equality
B Corps are companies that have taken a pledge to uphold high standards of:
- Social and environmental performance
Here are two notable B Corps that champion gender equality:
1. Divine Chocolate
This B Corp is a farmer-owned company which gives cocoa farmers in Ghana the platform to earn fairly. It encourages female economic empowerment and boosts their social standing within their communities.
Divine Chocolate aims to ensure women are included, reached, and empowered to take control of their lives.
2. Yoyo Design
This B Corp provides sustainable design solutions for companies with sustainability as top of mind. Yoyo Design also actively works to create an equal playing field for women in business.
They do so by focusing on building a team with almost half of the members women. They also exercise equal pay. In addition, they promote career development by establishing 50/50 representation at board level.
The Women’s Movement: To Wrap Up
We can create a healthier, more equitable world for all when we embrace workplace feminism. By investing in female employees, we can ensure everyone has an equal chance of success.
Gender quality is the correct answer, always. When we empower women, we empower all.