Athena Swan

Athena Swan promotes and supports the diversity of all staff in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and aims to address gender, race and sexual orientation inequalities and imbalance in these disciplines and, in particular, the under-representation of certain groups in senior roles.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Solutions to improve workplace culture


Research Associate at Murray Edwards College working on gender equality in careers, University of Cambridge, discusses various ways of improving workplace culture. 

Just talk – A first step would bring teams together in a facilitated, neutral meeting where evidence on workplace culture can be aired and women can describe issues they think they experience because of their gender. Teams can then discuss solutions with the help of the ideas that came from this research.

Making visible how things get done in practice – Power audits are needed by mixed gender teams after a project is finished to make visible how and where decisions were made. This will improve how gender diverse teams work together.

Building close relationships – A key insight from the research stresses the importance of extending mixed gender networks to make it more likely that a woman comes to mind when an opportunity arises. This might include networking with a social agenda: you might have “Walkabout Wednesdays” when everyone is expected to have coffee with someone new. Networking can also happen as a by-product of something useful: for example, “Take Two” buddy ups when you need cover for two hours while you do something outside work. Or it can be directly related to work, perhaps mixed-gender mentoring to share skills and perspectives on a project.

Bystanders amplify – Not having their comments and ideas heard in meetings is one of women’s biggest complaints. Men can help by amplifying a woman’s contribution when they notice it has not been heard; repeating their colleague’s idea and giving her credit.

Actions from leaders - Individual actions need to be authorised by leaders taking a clear stance. Male role models are needed to transform workplace culture – yet the men who take on this role often face backlash. Leaders can help by rewarding and supporting men who make changes to support gender parity.

Read full article here: https://theconversation.com/what-men-would-do-to-fix-the-workplace-equality-gap-67368?utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook 

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