It blows my mind that in 2014 we are still dealing with workplace biases. It isn’t that it still exists, it is that we have allowed it to continue to exist! There are multiple articles daily on this subject, pointing fingers, showing proof…my question to everybody is, what are you willing to risk to abolish gender bias in the workplace? Pointing out facts and speaking on this subject changes absolutely zilch! There is one way real change occurs in the workplace. Hit them in the pocket!
Change does not come without risk, period! Our history is built on people, groups, societies that have bonded together to make a change. People lost their lives, took people’s lives, were beaten, had riots, walkouts…they sacrificed for the cause. Their sacrifices changed the future. What about us? We have more tools them they had, more facts, more knowledge at our disposal then they had in a lifetime, but still they got it done. Personally, I have never had to deal with gender bias in the workplace. I have dealt with many other things that I would not stand for, which is why I am a business owner now.
When something isn’t right, you have four options to choose from: either right it, change it, leave it, or live it. This goes for everything in life, not just in the workplace. So, how can you change it? There are a few viable options that I know of; 1. Communicate with your boss. If you feel that you are being underpaid or mistreated due to your gender (men or women) have a blunt, non-accusatory conversation with your boss. I stress with your boss, not the rest of the office! 2. If you have had a clear conversation but nothing has changed, begin opening yourself up for other opportunities. Have one more clear conversation with your boss and do not leave that office without a plan of action from your boss. 3. Once you have had that second conversation, if nothing has changed, it is time to pack up and walk out. This is the risk factor. Are you willing to take the risk of not having a job for the sake of the cause? If you are not willing to do anything to demand change, please stop complaining about the problem.
Looking at the graph figures from 2012, most of the featured industries would crash if women walked out. Imagine what would happen if the men stood behind the women and too walked out! I am not suggesting that the entire workforce stand up and leave, I am simply wondering what you are willing to risk. I read about this and other issues often enough to come to the conclusion that people love to complain and play the victim, but when it comes time for action, they are the singing frog! Guess what…silence never changed anything!
I read a comment that was posted on an article about gender bias, and the comment said, “I just read a statistic that said women of the same education and work availability are making 96% of a man’s wage. What is the problem?” After I said 85 cuss words at him, my answer is, YOU (this person) are the problem, you moron! Equal is not up for discussion. There is a black and white definition for the word equal. It doesn’t vary per convenience. I want to understand why a woman would knowingly accept an offer that is lower than the going rate? There are many employers to choose from, why work for a crappy place that pays according to your sex organ? You don’t have to accept every job offered to you. I am not a fool, I know money is necessary, but this is a risk you have to take!
Here are 5 things that we as a society can and should do to abolish gender bias:
- First and foremost, confront the owner of the company, the board, whoever has the final say – This is an action for men & women to take. Men, if something God forbid happened to you, your wife would be supporting your kids by working for a less than men’s wage. Do you want your daughters to have to deal with this when they enter the workforce? The only way biases get abolished is by the unity of the society. Again, nothing has changed due to silence!
- Do not spend money where biases are part of their everyday business –Even if that means driving further or paying a little more… make the choice to make a difference. There is only so much we can turn our cheek to. At some point we need to get uncomfortable to make the future a whole lot more comfortable! We are very fortunate to have a plethora of options on where we spend our money, let’s make the businesses earn it by treating their employees with dignity and respect!
- Be an advocate for each other – Stop talking about each other and start speaking with one another. When a coworker is complaining about a situation, don’t gossip, ask questions to get to the bottom of it. Complaining does not do jack…communication changes the world! Not everything is a bias. People get paid less many times because they have a different production rate or any number of reasons. Remember to check yourself and make sure that if you were the boss, you would pay you top dollar, or promote you. This is where the communication comes in. Be honest with one another. Be accountability buddies, meaning if a coworker asks you a question about this type of situation, tell them the truth. Make it positive but honest. People grow from honesty, not b.s. If there is a bias situation, then as a coworker, whichever gender…take a stand. Nobody should be okay working for a company that bases their scales on what is between your legs! Take the risk for somebody else. Eventually it will be you that is getting the other end of a bias and you will see how badly it sucks!
- Don’t be a lifetime victim –I firmly believe, 1st time shame on them…2nd time shame on you! A victim has something happen to them. A lifetime victim allows things to happen to them because the action part is just too much out of their comfort zone. Lifetime victims change absolutely zero! They would rather place blame on other people instead of being accountable for their own actions or lack thereof. Bias in the workforce, once is too much. At the first bias act, the communication should be en-route! Stop turning your head and hit this head on! If you want change, you have to be the change, period!
- Only complain if you are ready to take a stand – People blab their mouth all day about this sucks and that sucks…but do not ever take a stand! SHHHHH! If you are not in action mode then have a seat, enjoy your pay based on having a vagina, and continue on with your robotic life! Complaining accomplishes nothing, ask your spouse/partner! Be accountable for your lives, which means stop letting other people be the captain of your ship! If you are mad enough to complain, be mad enough to take a risk, and strong enough to take action!
In 2014 we should have evolved into a society that values people based on the person, not the gender, color, or religion. I know we deal with all of these issues daily, but there comes a point when dealing isn’t cutting it. Actions are needed. Want to change how things are done? Start with you! You were born to be alive, not simply live! Get out and be the amazingly fabulous person that you are! #professionalwomen #genderequality
Please share any personal biases that you have experienced and what course of action you had taken.
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