Managing Gender and Diversity Complexities

March 26, 2018
March 26, 2018 Trish Mandewo

Managing Gender and Diversity Complexities

Todays workplace is highly diverse and complex. This diversity comes with its own challenges and complexities as shown by the current “Me Too” campaign, the BBC China Editor Carrie Gracie’s Fallout and the recent Tennis McEnroe and Navratilova case. The impact of gender complexities is visible in many organizations. Women are affected by bias at every level of an organization. Though many companies have policies on managing gender and inclusive workplace, many fail to implement these policies.

Achieving an inclusive workplace requires a focus on leadership styles and mindsets. This requires an “Ubuntu StratEdge” style engagement model, complete with cultural relativism, strategic planning and problem solving. It also requires a holistic approach to organizational behaviors, policies, practices, values and goals.

Organizations have an ethical responsibility to treat their staff equally and to address any issues of discrimination. If gender complexities are ignored, the results will impact the company’s bottom line. Discrimination can contribute to dysfunctional teams, poor communication, wasted talent and attrition to name a few. Conversely, managing gender complexities will result in creativity, innovation and team engagement which ultimately improve productivity, efficiency, effectiveness and profitability.

As the adage goes, “what gets measured gets done”. Organizations should use gender inequity indicators to measure how well they are doing. The key indicators include education, economic participation and empowerment. Canada’s best companies find strength in building inclusive workplaces. According to Bersin by Deloitte Research, “The workplace, workforce, and marketplace are changing in ways that require a different approach to management. External forces are pushing Canadian organisations to get in front of the diversity and inclusion wave”. ARE YOU?

Many companies struggle with seeing the relevance of delving into gender management initiative let alone effectively measuring the results of the initiatives. The impact of gender management can be measured through:

• Recruitment costs from achieving higher retention rates
• Reduction of absenteeism
• Increased employee happiness index
• Increased ROI

An organization can also benefit from implementing Emotional Intelligence workshops which will help with relationships, Communicating, Listening and Critical thinking. No matter how hard the organization tries, inclusiveness dials down to be a personal responsibility. EI, will help staff with managing perceptions and assumptions, embracing one’s gender and culture and understanding others, setting inclusive goals and committing to inclusive practices.

Diversity and inclusion pertains to maximizing gender diversity and acknowledging the uniqueness of the blended knowledge, skills and perspectives that different people bring to the workplace or community. An inclusive workplace has an overall culture of supporting adaptability and collaboration. It is a foregone conclusion that inclusion is the secret ingredient to innovation and is paramount to an organization’s success.

At Ubuntu StratEdge, we integrate culture, diversity and managing gender with business strategy. We promise to:

• Help you establish a baseline
• Set up Diversity metrics that go beyond compliance policies & procedures and equality issues.
• Help you leverage gender and diversity thereby giving you a competitive edge which will help your business development and overall bottom line
• Help you align your Inclusiveness initiatives with your organizational values
• Develop a scorecard with key metrics that matter for your organization such as training metrics and communication metrics. We believe
that small to medium enterprises must operate with the effectiveness of big businesses.

Managing gender effectively is a strategic business advantage and will help your business achieve your goals.