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Gender Biases Undermine Female Professional Growth

Gender Biases

Dismantling Gender Biases for True Equality

Gender biases persist in organizations, undermining women’s professional growth despite their qualifications and capabilities. True gender equality requires evaluating individuals based on skills and experience, not stereotypes. Organizations must foster inclusivity and challenge traditional notions of leadership to create a genuinely equitable work environment.

An organization is a collaborative effort. From the most senior to the least senior, every member contributes significantly to the organization’s seamless operation. An organization with a clear goal and a commitment to equity, equality and fair treatment is considered excellent. It is made up of diverse individuals from various backgrounds, nevertheless. It is evident that distinctions still exists, and any organization must adhere to the fundamental principle of representing these differences.

Even, there will always be certain discrepancies that must be fixed because they cannot be tolerated or accepted. Among these, the management culture’s gender stereotypes are one of the distinctions that are frequently disregarded. Most people play very diplomatic roles and don’t directly cause discrimination in the workplace, but we can’t deny that there is some silent discrimination that prevents people from growing as individuals- mainly women.

She has been working in a senior position within an organization for a decade, demonstrating efficiency and positioning herself as a strong candidate for the institution’s CEO role. Despite her qualifications, during the interview, she faces a surprise question regarding her ability to handle the position as a woman, implying concerns about her capability to lead and manage others due to her gender.  This incident highlights the persistence of gender biases in professional settings, where competency is questioned based on gender rather than merit.

Naturally, there are observable differences between males and females, which are inherent to biology. However, when discussing equality, it pertains to the fair distribution of intellectual capacity and opportunities. Competence should be the role determinant in any competitive arena, regardless of gender.

Therefore, there is no validity in questioning a person’s professional capabilities based on their gender. Whether one is a mother or a CEO should not be a matter of concern in today’s context. If an individual possess the necessary skills and competence, they will excel in their role. It is unnecessary to raise doubts or questions regarding this matter.

It is a high time to look from broader concerns about professionalism within organizations and the need to evaluate individuals based on their skills, experience, and qualifications rather than gender stereotypes. It underscores the importance of promoting diversity and inclusion in workplaces, where individuals are judged solely on their abilities and not on gender or any other irrelevant factors.

Let me recount the story of ‘Her’ a marketing manager, whose experiences shed light on the pervasive challenges faced by women in the workplace. Despite her innovative ideas and cost-effective strategies, she encountered hesitation from her male subordinates in fully embracing her vision. Even after conducting extensive market research, their reluctance persisted, casting doubt on her proposals during board meetings. Her experience is not unique; it reflects numerous instances where women’s confidence is subtly undermined, gradually eroding their influence and authority.

This phenomenon is rooted in the pervasive perception that men excel in areas such as mathematics, calculations or strategy. Consequently, women often face common discriminations in the workplace, such as being overlooked for tasks like driving or calculations in favor of their male counterparts. Even in fields like surgery, where both genders possess equal competency, there’s a prevailing bias favoring male practitioners.

This silent discrimination persists even after women achieve success. Male subordinates are often praised wholeheartedly, even if they haven’t made any significant contributions, while the efforts of their female counterparts are questioned or overlooked. It’s as though women are burdened with a presumption of low confidence from the moment they enter the workforce until the end of their careers.

At the heart of this issue lies a pervasive culture of male ego-driven leadership, where individuals resort to cheap tactics to maintain dominance. These tactics often target female subordinates’ character, exploiting societal stereotypes to diminish their credibility. Such toxic politics undermine organizational harmony and hinder growth. Management must prioritize fostering an environment where everyone can contribute equitably, irrespective of gender or ego. This doesn’t shout like the decline in the sales does. However, it creates such a hazardous work environment, that whoever inhales can feel the cold battle inside them. Which none of the motivational schemes can compensate.

In the ever-evolving landscape of the modern workplace, the presence of women has become increasingly prominent. Their strength, resilience and ability to multitask are often celebrated and rightly so. However, amidst the praises and progress, a closer examination reveals a nuanced reality. That is, one where women still faces barriers to true leadership and micromanagement in the corporate sphere.

The contemporary urban setting has undeniably contributed to the empowerment of women in financial matters. More women are juggling multiple roles, balancing their professional careers with household responsibilities. This newfound independence is a testament to their capability and determination. Yet, when we delve into the intricacies of organizational structures, a different narrative emerges.

Despite strides in gender equality, women continue to encounter obstacles in ascending to leadership positions. While they may hold managerial titles, the extent of their involvement in major decision-making process remains questionable. In many instances, pivotal roles are occupied by men, perpetuating a patriarchal hierarchy that undermines the potential of female leaders.

It’s not that women lack the competence or dedication required for leadership roles. On the contrary, they bring a unique perspective and invaluable qualities to the table. Women are known for their loyalty, attention to detail and ability to navigate complex situations with grace. However, these attributes often go unrecognized or undervalued in a male – dominated corporate culture.

Moreover, the issue extends beyond mere representation at the top. Even in lower management positions, women may find themselves relegated to supportive roles rather than being entrusted with decision-making authority. This disparity reflects deep rooted biases and systemic barriers that hinder the advancement of women in the workplace.

To truly foster gender equality along with to build a healthy environment, organisations must strive for genuine inclusivity at all levels. This entails dismantling ingrained stereotypes and challenging traditional notions of leadership. It’s not enough for women to be present; their voice must be empowered to lead authentically, with their voices heard and perspectives valued.

Similarly, men must also play a role in fostering a more equitable work environment. They can no longer rely on the outdated notions of masculinity to assert dominance in the workplace. Instead, they must embrace qualities traditionally associated with femininity, such as empathy, collaboration and emotional intelligence.

One area where these shifts are particularly evident is in customer- facing roles. Historically, women have been favored as sales representatives for their perceived charm and ability to handle customer aggression. However, this bias overlooks the potential of male representatives to cultivate these same skills. Likewise, female managers must assert themselves confidently, resisting the urge to conform to stereotypical expectations of submissiveness.

Building a harmonious society, like a productive work culture, requires equal harmony, respect, and support for all. It’s high time for management to examine their organisations at a micro-level and address these issues because in today’s competitive world, failing to do so means falling behind.

In essence, while society may celebrate goddesses for their bravery, protection, love, and care, it’s crucial to refrain from undermining the capacity of female intelligence. Achieving true gender equality in the workplace demands a collective effort to challenge entrenched norms and biases. Achieving true gender equality in the workplace requires a collective effort to challenge entrenched norms and biases. It’s not simply about increasing female representatives in leadership roles but fundamentally reconsidering the way we conceptualise leadership and micromanagement. Only then can we create an organizational culture that is genuinely inclusive, where all individuals have the opportunity to thrive and contribute to their fullest potential despite any form of differences.

Nirjala Poudel

In the teaching field for more than 2 decades


Also Read, Declutter Your Desk for Improved Work Efficiency

Visit, Women Entrepreneurs: Embody Values, Inspire Excellence

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