OgilvyAsia Admin
How to Stomp Out Gender Bias

It’s Monday again, and you might be wondering if your office is steeped in pesky gender inequality. Let’s start with these questions: Do you work with animals that stand on two feet and tend to prefer sushi over hay bales? Do you work in an office with an eight-hour workday, which is a time structure that initially derived from a gendered division of labor? Do you work in a co-op where all members change into an androgynous potato-sack-uniform at the door and call each other by the first initials of their names? If the answer to the first two is yes and to the third is no, your workplace almost certainly harbors gender inequality in some form.

That whole 77 cents to the dollar thing? Still true, unfortunately. Conservative think tanks like to point to a narrowing of the pay gap by citing the wages of 20-something women without children. Things are looking rosier for that group, but they’re not perfect (88 cents to the male dollar), and there’s the small issue of what happens to your job prospects when you choose to help perpetuate the human race.

But the bigger issue is not policy-related, but workplace culture. Disparities can exist beyond what the company policy—or the president in his State of the Union—says. The most nefarious assumption is that gender inequality in the workplace doesn’t exist. Gains have followed an asymptotic curve in many work environments. Seating women by the coffee machines so they can be the designated drink-maker has gone out of style, but more subtle discrepancies can mean the difference between professional stagnation and feeling comfy enough to ask for a pay raise.


 Source: http://www.humanresourcesmba.net/women-in-the-workplace/

To some people it’s painfully obvious that their office embraces stereotypes or even outright discriminates on the basis of gender. For those of you for whom it remains an open question, I challenge you to find the hidden gender inequality and stymie those forces through your own quotidian interactions.

Here is our short gender-bias guide in the form of dos and don’ts:

DO ask your coworker what his salary is. It’s allowed. If he doesn’t want to tell you, try again after lunch.

DO drag ¾-size Xerox cutouts of a few of your opposite-gendered coworkers to the pub, martini lounge or piano bar. That way you don’t have to go out of your comfort zone to include them in your same-sex hangout. Wait wait, no. DON’T do that. Invite them along.

DON’T call the little girls room “the little girls room.” Little girls are not stored there, they only stay temporarily, and emerge after they have defecated just like the rest of the planet, making all sorts of unpleasant noises and smells. It’s allowed: evacuation is a genderless feat of animal biology, and doesn’t need to take up less (or more) space according to the pronoun assigned to the perpetrator.

DON’T assume that if a woman holds a managerial position, she will be more caring or nicer than a guy would be.

If someone talks in a meeting, and her voice is annoying, DON’T equate that with her gender.

DO this exercise: Look around the office and think about the jobs each person has outside of the one circumscribed by the MDF cubicle he or she is sitting in. For some people, that job is getting drunk every night for their own personal reasons. For others, that job is feeding a rugrat. Remember when you vomited all over the family dog when you were 5? Whoever cleaned that up had to be late to work.

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