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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Do You Still Need a Third Leg to Get Ahead?

There is a great post circling LinkedIn right now called Why Aren't Women Advancing at Work? Ask a Transgender Person. The post addresses how differently trans individuals have been treated at work in their new gender. I, for one, would be shocked if much of the information in this post came as a surprise to women. 

Transmen experience a higher level of respect, are interrupted less frequently, and have their opinions questioned less often than when they lived as women. Not surprisingly, transmen also felt like they were given more opportunities to succeed and to advance in the workplace than when they lived as a female. Transwomen have the opposite experience, and many find it shocking that they are now talked over in meetings and that their opinions are questioned even when supported by facts. 

If you're a woman reading this, you might be discouraged. But don't worry! You don't need a third leg to get ahead; you just need to be 2.5 times more productive than the average male to be thought of as equally skilled and competent!

How can we overcome the gender inequality that exists in the workplace (especially when some insist that it has been eradicated)? 

The glass ceiling that is so frequently talked about in HR circles is built on a rock-hard foundation of unconscious bias. Policies and procedures need to be in place to reduce or eliminate the objective factors that so easily overshadow the subjective factors that hiring and promotion decisions should be based on. It is also imperative that companies start training recruiters and hiring managers on how to identify their unconscious biases and overcome them. 

But why should companies stop there? Shouldn't all employees, at every level of the company, undergo this training? Why aren't companies including this in their new hire orientation and training?

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