To have a more productive and inclusive workplace, everyone needs to be aware of the different ways in which gender can affect one’s experience at work. By being conscious of our words and actions, we can help to make everyone feel comfortable and valued in the workplace. In this article, we will discuss some tips on how to promote gender sensitivity in the workplace.
Make an effort to use gender-neutral language
When it comes to the workplace, using gender-neutral language is key in promoting equality and diversity. By using terms that do not specifically identify gender, we create an environment in which everyone is free to be themselves without feeling limited or excluded. This sends the message that everyone is welcome and valued in the workplace, regardless of their gender identity or expression.
It can be difficult to remember to use gender-neutral language all the time, but by making a conscious effort to do so, we can help to make our workplace more inclusive for all. Some tips on how to do this include:
- Using terms such as “they” instead of “he” or “she”
- Referring to people as “folks” instead of “guys”
- Using the word “partner” instead of “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” to describe a significant other.
Use nonverbal communication effectively
Gender expectations are often played out in our everyday actions without us even realizing it, such as how women are expected to smile and nod more often than men. During communication, nonverbal communication, such as eye contact, movement, and gestures tend to be different depending on the person’s gender and can affect how co-workers perceive them.
For some people who conform to certain gender stereotypes, it might come naturally while for others, remembering these differences can be difficult. However, it is important to make an effort to use nonverbal communication effectively because it can help to create a comfortable and inclusive atmosphere in the workplace.
Be mindful of the way you address people in meetings, in conversations, and in general
While it might seem harmless to call someone by their first name without clarifying their gender, doing so can make them feel excluded or unsure about how to address you. Sometimes people can unintentionally use incorrect names when referring to a person in the workplace. For example, some trans men use female pronouns but do not go by “She” or “Her.”
Using gender-neutral language isn’t as easy as it sounds because we have been taught to think in a certain way. However, by being mindful of the way you address people and speak about them, it can help to make the workplace more inclusive for everyone.
Invite speakers who are not traditionally heard from in the workforce
Not only does promoting gender sensitivity in the workplace mean using words that do not specifically identify gender, but it also means being conscious of other aspects that could affect one’s experience in the workplace.
For example, when inviting speakers to talk about their experiences at work, it is helpful to invite people who are traditionally underrepresented or unheard of in the workforce, such as women of color or transgender individuals.
By being mindful of these differences, it can help to create a workplace that is more inclusive and supportive for everyone.
Promote the use of mentoring programs
Mentors are usually people who have been successful in their careers and can offer sage advice to those who are interested in advancing within a company. By promoting mentorship programs, it sends the message that everyone is valued for their skills and talents. Therefore, it can help to create a more inclusive workplace where everyone feels safe and motivated to develop their careers.
Getting in touch with organizations focused on raising confident girls provides a new perspective on how education should be. They can serve as role models for women who want to improve their self-confidence when dealing with other people.
Know your audience
Although being conscious about the use of language and nonverbal communication is important, it is just as important to know who you are talking to and who you are referring to.
For example, it would be appropriate to use the pronoun “They” with your co-worker who uses they/them pronouns if you know them well, but doing so in front of a group of strangers might make them feel uncomfortable. Similarly, we must not forget that there is diversity within diversity and make sure to adapt the tips accordingly.
Promoting gender sensitivity in the workplace means raising awareness of one’s unique qualities, being conscious of how we communicate with others, and inviting speakers who are not traditionally heard from. To create a more inclusive and productive work environment, everyone must be aware of how differences can affect one’s experience in the workplace. By raising our awareness of these small details, everyone can feel more comfortable and secure in their working environment.