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4 Ways to Promote Gender Equality in the Workplace

Did you know that Latin America and the Caribbean will likely take another 67 years to close the gender gap if current trends continue?

Traditional Hispanic values include familism, reverence, faith, and traditional gender roles, while common values include self-reliance, competition, and personal success. In this part of the world, wives often stay home to cook, while husbands go out to work.

Latin America generally exhibits a high level of household complexity. Latin families often live together, even if they have only the slightest connection or are only distant blood relatives. This demonstrates the importance of familism in most households.

The outdated gender roles indicate that men are still likely to go to work and women take care of chores. That causes gender inequality because men and women are stereotyped for different jobs and tasks in the workplace. To have a positive work environment, companies must be observant and prepared.

This Pacific Prime Latin America article will cover tips and benefits of having gender equality in the workplace.

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What Does Inequality in the Workplace Look Like?

In Latin America, there are social norms that play a major role in causing gender inequality. It may not be easily observable in our day-to-day life, so it’s advisable to become familiar with recognizing inequality at work.

Some of the most common incidents that happen in the workplace include:

  • Discrimination: Direct discrimination is when employees are treated unequally, unfavorably, or unfairly. By contrast, indirect discrimination is when requirements in a workplace appear to be normal yet put certain people at a disadvantage as if the requirements appear to be irrelevant to job descriptions.
  • Pay: Same work, same pay” is still on hold when women are offered less pay in many workplaces. One of the reasons is the laws: some job types that are deemed too dangerous or strenuous for women to perform are frequently included in “men-only” occupations. What’s more, some countries even do not permit women to work in certain jobs because it is morally inappropriate.
  • Promotion: Women are often overlooked for promotions or leadership positions, even if they have the necessary qualifications and experience. This can lead to a lack of diversity in leadership positions and perpetuate gender-based stereotypes.
  • Sexual Harassment: Verbal and physical harassment should be among the top things to be vigilant about. They can severely affect not only individuals but also the hiring process.

“We noticed an increase in reports of gender harassment, from 76% of women in 2016 to 92% in 2018. This data suggests that while blatant sexual harassment — experiences that drive many women out of their careers — might be declining, workplaces may be seeing a “backlash effect,” or an increase in hostility toward women.” – Stefanie K. Johnson. And Liza Barnes (July 18, 2019)

How to Promote a Culture of Gender Equality

To address these situations, it’s important to think not only as a company but also as an individual and a human being. While forming or adjusting cultures and mindsets takes time, there’s less need to worry if you have a strong foundation.

  • Strictly Enforced Rules: If you cannot change the laws, then create your own rules with severe consequences in place. Make it clear that the company does not tolerate treating women unfairly. Additionally, consider carefully what actions should be taken and how to address both the person who initiates the mistreatment and the person who is mistreated.
  • Research Pay & Collect Data: Women in Latin American countries earn between 49 to 68 cents for every dollar a man makes. One solution is to research data to keep track of salaries annually and make improvements so that everyone gets paid based on their educational background, experience, and abilities, rather than gender.
  • Job Quotas for Women: Besides skills, it’s important to make women feel heard and seen by offering more opportunities to them. It’s predicted that between 40-160 million women worldwide will transition to higher-skilled employment by 2030.
  • Encourage Women to Speak Up: Girls are frequently not taught to be bold and are given fewer chances than boys, which carries over into the workplace. As an employer, you can listen to female employees and encourage them to speak up, as well as ensure they have role models in high positions to look up to.

Benefits of Gender Equality in the Workplace

When you think of having gender equality, do you think of a developed, propitious country? Iceland, the most gender-equal country, has shown just how important it is for everyone to be treated equally because it influences the economy as a whole.

When there is gender equality in the workplace, you can see the ability of individuals as human beings not based on gender, and your choices are not needlessly limited. From an economic perspective, businesses create jobs, and when people work, they earn money to buy things. This leads to economic growth as businesses make more money, hire more people, and create more jobs, income, and consumption. Therefore, businesses are important for a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

  • Healthier Workplace, Healthier Mental Health: If one core objective of the company is to create a healthy workplace, now is the right time to start. A healthy and friendly work environment can bring benefits to workers’ mental health, which can enhance productivity and result in a smoother workflow.
  • Increased Productivity: Having employees stay productive will increase efficiency and reduce the required workforce. Likewise, businesses can boost profitability while maintaining the same output.
  • Better Organization Reputation: What you provide as a company reflects what the company values and prioritizes. Creating optimistic and profitable stories is essential because when people, stakeholders, and organizations look at your company, they will think of it positively and would want to be/remain a part of it.

Achieving gender equality and creating a better workplace is not out of reach. Since employees come from diverse backgrounds, mindsets, and cultures, providing reassurance as a company can build trust and enhance reliability. As human beings, we all desire to feel safe, no matter where we are.

Get in touch with Pacific Prime Latin America today!

As a leading health insurance broker and employee benefits specialist with over 20 years of industry experience, Pacific Prime Latin America can help you find the right employee benefits, group health insurance, corporate health insurance, and more to match your company’s needs.

We are also equally committed to employee benefits practices and are excited to help more companies get on board. Contact us to arrange a free consultation and learn more about what we can do for you today!

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Content Creator at Pacific Prime
Pornadara Pongkaew is an experienced writer with a keen interest in writing for marketing. Over the years, Pornadara has worked on both online and offline writing assignments, with expertise in the practice of human rights and health.

Since joining Pacific Prime, Pornadara has been exploring the world of insurance and works closely with her peers to present the complex topic of insurance in a way that is simple for readers to understand – also aligning with Pacific Prime's motto of 'Simplifying Insurance.'

Writing has always been her passion, and Porndara devotes effort and time to generating content from scratch. The exposure to multiple cultures that she has, inspires her to become a better writer and motivates her to keep writing.
Her interests are health, insurance, lifestyle, food, and life in the workplace. Along with her familiarity with multiple cultures around the world growing up. They motivate her to write and acknowledge people who share similar interests.
Porndara Pongkaew
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