To promote equality in the workplace is simple: ensure all employees in the organization has access to the same opportunities and the same fair treatment. The way a company treats its employees is important, not only people at management levels require attention but employees at all levels do as well. Let us put these questions to you now, have you ever wondered if you are currently being treated fairly and respected in your workplace? Have you ever wondered why it is critical to living our working lives positively?
The recently concluded 2018 Gender Equality report, jointly conducted by jobsDB and JobStreet, canvassing 6,630 employees across Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, revealed that there is a need to bridge the gender gap. The survey results show that in Hong Kong, 24% of female and 15% of male employees felt that they are discriminated against in their workplace. The most discrimination has been reported in the banking / financial services / securities / stockbroking (29%) and the least discrimination is in the property / real estate sector (6%). Much effort is required to put the right policies and practices in place to promote gender equality in the workplace.
Across the region, we see that most of the discrimination complaints in the workplace were reported as “slight”. However, the “slight” complaints may not be so benevolent when there are more than a quarter of both genders who complain of severe discrimination (35% male, 34% female). As in Hong Kong, around half (50%) of the respondents think the discrimination was “neither slight or severe”.
Your rights to equality at work
How do you know whether you are faced with gender inequality issues in the workplace? We have listed 4 examples of where gender issues might take place. Take action now. Quickly identify if there are disparity practices in your organisation with our tips below and ask yourself if you are staying in the right workplace.
1. Performance appraisal
Different kinds of biases exist during performance evaluation times, commonly the evaluator and gender biases are the most prevalent factors. One common scenario is when different employees who do the same work, have the same amount of experience, report to the same manager and, unlikely as it may seem, have the exact same strengths and weaknesses. However, unequal pay for the same work was the most common form of discrimination.
According to the survey, both genders (80% male, 77% female) receive favourable performance evaluation. However, it is obvious that there are still slight gender disparity between genders. These statistics led us to the next question, how would you think your annual performance review was fairly evaluated? What do you do when you think your performance review is not fairly evaluated?
When you get a negative review, disagreeing with your manager’s interpretation of your work performance, it is important to find the middle ground that can be reached by getting additional viewpoints to support you, especially those who were involved on the same project. Focus on collecting all the facts before setting up a follow up review meetings with your manager.
Companies should have processes in place to enable all employees meet the same standards as they progress and advance through their careers. The company has to ensure all employees are getting the same exposure to training and learning opportunities to further develop their skills and to grow aptitudes.
Overall, 67% of employees from all levels in the region are receiving recommendations for training. In Hong Kong, more males (63%) are offered the same opportunities for trainings than females (59%). You may want to check if you are getting fair opportunities to learn as like any other co-workers.
3. Pay raise and increment
The gender pay gap is a common concern; women are generally paid lesser than men. Companies that are serious about managing their resources should have a pay range for every position, with the allowance for exceptions in special cases. Check out how much you should be earning with Career Insights.
Results from the survey revealed that there are slightly more males (75%) than females (73%) receiving pay rises; a majority of them are in mid and higher level management. Have you been wondering if you are earning the same salary as your other male or female co-workers? What exactly does gender bias have to do with your increment?
Speak up when you find out you are not being compensated fairly. Find the right timing to start a conversation with your manager or the human resource department. It is essential to keep your negotiation focused on your performance and deliverables, ask questions about your company’s salary policy: What the salary range is for your position and how it is defined, what flexibility there is to that pay range.
Equal opportunities for promotion and career advancement should always be made available to all staff, and no employee should be restricted from these opportunities because of their race, religion, gender or any other discriminatory reason.
The regional outlook is attributed to the fact that male centric leadership (53%) is dominating the job market. Are you aware if there are more men or women in your current management team? Who makes the better leader, male or female?
You are outnumbered by the male counterparts today, doesn’t mean the end of your corporate life. Let’s get your way through this gender dominated corporate world by start speaking up in meetings. When others hear your opinions, they can recognise your value. Learn ways to get noticed in your workplace now.
What to do if you encounter discrimination
There are cases where some companies do not implement or even have their own equal opportunities policies in place. If you feel that you are being discriminated against, the first thing that you should do is to find out about your company’s grievance procedures. It may be useful to contact the human resource department about this. If you cannot resolve the issue internally, then you may further escalate it to Hong Kong’s Equal Opportunities Commission.
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