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Gender equality in the company: 5 tips to achieve it


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According to the World Economic Forum 2022 report, with the current world development, it will take 132 years to smooth out the difference between men and women in various social, political, intellectual and economic relations. Unfortunately, gender equality at work also applies here. “As far as I can tell from the experience of other companies, the gender gap shows up in hiring requirements as well as salary and career opportunities. But I believe that gender inequality harms business,” says Vladislav Belov, head of 1C-Povolzhye and a serial IT entrepreneur. He told Pro Business about how he solves this problem in his company.


Vladislav Belov
Head of 1C-Povolzhye and a serial IT entrepreneur

Benefits of Gender Equality for Companies

Career opportunities for every employee

— Over 30 years of doing business, I realized that the full disclosure of the potential of employees occurs only in conditions of equal opportunities – both when hiring and when assigning salaries, and when advancing in a career. It is good when, thanks to their professional qualities, an employee can advance to a higher position, bypassing the so-called “glass ceiling”. I have several deputies, and half of them are women. The heads of the 1C Department and the Marketing Department are women, the head of the Import Software Distribution Department and the Financial Director are men. These are strong, experienced personnel, whose expertise I trust. When selecting deputies, I did not look at their gender – I was only interested in business characteristics: the ability to think strategically, build the work of departments and control processes.

Both the men and women on my team can handle crises equally well.

Case in point — work at the beginning of the pandemic, when the company had to quickly reorganize work processes during the lockdown. Each of my deputies at that time almost independently reorganized the work of their unit and brought it to an effective level. It only took them two weeks to do this. New business processes were introduced: for the convenience of delivering software products, we abandoned physical media and switched to downloading programs from cloud storage. We also increased the number of services offered to partners: for example, we connected EDI. All this has helped us to reduce the cost of production of discs and transportation costs, at the same time maintain the volume of sales of products and services and even increase them by one and a half to two times.

The power of multi-gender teamwork

Gender heterogeneity helps businesses achieve high financial performance. This is due to the fact that men and women have their own view of the world, their own approach to completing assignments, their own strengths that complement each other. This can be seen when comparing the work of two sales managers. Many partner clients of my company want to work with female managers, as they are perceived as more attentive, responsive, accurate specialists. At the same time, I believe that men are better at solving technical issues of clients. It turns out that employees and employees of the company can work in pairs, since women have better presentation skills, and men are more versed in the so-called “materiel”, that is, they can advise on the purpose of the program and explain what needs to be done to make it work correctly .

Photo: plus-one.ru

In support of my words about “mutual complementation”, I can also cite international statistics again. A few years ago, the consulting company McKinsey conducted a study to find out how effective mixed teams are. So, teams where men and women are approximately 50/50 can solve non-standard tasks and are more adapted to new challenges, which is especially valuable in times of crisis.

In my company, I regularly ask the HR department for statistics on the number of employees of both sexes. So, 50/50 is the ideal proportion of sexes, 40/60 is the maximum deviation in the number of men and women, and 30/70 is an indicator that indicates a clear preponderance of one of the sexes in the team. To maintain balance, I ask the heads of departments that have a preponderance of one gender over the other to recruit more employees of the missing gender.

My approach to maintaining gender equality in the company

Gender equality in recruitment and payroll

Any inequality at work starts with hiring. Therefore, we select worthy for worthy and do it carefully – the recruitment procedure consists of several stages:

  • A telephone interview with an HR manager during which applicants answer questions relevant to the position.
  • Remote questionnaire and testing for professional suitability and psychotype of future employees.
  • The second interview of the applicant with the HR manager following the results of filling out the questionnaire and passing the test.
  • The main interview of the future employee with the head of the department and with the director.
  • The final interview of the applicant with the head of the company, that is, with me, to discuss all the conditions for hiring.

During the final interview, I try on the role of a psychologist and check the personal qualities, the way of thinking of the future employee. Questions are asked different – both about the professional level of training, and about personal life, for example, family composition, plans for the near future, including the birth of children, if the interview is a woman. However, the rest of the questions do not depend on gender. All this is done in order to hire quality personnel – both men and women. And when hiring, it doesn’t matter to me whether an employee or employee goes on maternity leave – if the subordinates are standing, I tell them: “We are waiting for you.”

Usually a painful issue with gender inequality in the workplace is the salary policy of the enterprise. In my company, this is all right: for the same positions – the same wages. At the same time, there were situations when we selected male and female candidates for the same managerial position. When it came to salary expectations, men could name an amount higher than the market, while women, on the contrary, underestimated the level of wages. Despite possible differences in salary expectations, we still focus on the high-quality performance of the employee’s functions, because we value efficient employees who bring profit to the company.

Photo: 9111.ru

Gender equality in education and career advancement

A corporate training program also helps me to balance the career opportunities of the sexes. Such a program allows my employees to develop the missing skills that will be useful for their careers, whether they are male or female. For example, as part of such a program, my employees can learn how to negotiate with partners or how to delegate tasks. Having the same skills, it is easier for employees to perceive each other as competitors and therefore communicate on an equal footing without focusing on gender. Business only benefits from this.

So, in my company there is a well-established form of corporate training – face-to-face practice, which usually lasts 3-4 days. It selects employees who, by their position, are interested in improving sales and developing the company. The composition of students is formed by the heads of departments. Since the gender distribution in my company is approximately equal, then employees in a similar gender proportion get to the trainings.

For practice, we choose weekends or holidays, if possible, so that study does not interfere with work and does not affect the performance of the company. At corporate sessions, working issues are discussed, cases are analyzed, and trainings are conducted. Based on the results of such sessions, managers conclude how much an employee is ready to continue to perform more complex tasks, and, accordingly, how ready he or she is for career growth.

We also conduct business games for which we construct conflict situations when working with partners. Employees are divided into teams with different gender composition: men, women and mixed composition. During these games, we learn how to find an individual approach to complex customer requests. After the end of the business game, we do an analysis in which we focus on how the teams, consisting of workers of different sexes, coped with the task. Often employees complete the task, but their approaches to solving issues differ depending on the gender composition of the team, which is also interesting to analyze.

Photo: altunov.ru

5 tips for creating gender equality in your company

Advice I can give colleagues in leadership positions:

  1. Conduct a thorough recruitment of candidates for positions: create equal conditions for multi-stage selection for male and female applicants – there should be no exceptions and concessions for anyone.
  2. Always be neutral. When hiring, assigning salaries and distributing career opportunities among employees, focus on the employee’s business qualities, and not on their gender or gender.
  3. Encourage employees to improve their professional skills. So workers of both sexes will be able to learn new things and upgrade skills that are useful to them for work and career advancement.
  4. Be professionals who do not give in to stereotypes, but pay attention exclusively to the performance of subordinates. It’s simple: dismiss those employees who show poor results, and raise those who are effective.
  5. Strive to maintain gender balance in the team. Assemble gender-mixed work teams so employees can sum up their strengths, complement each other, and look at complex issues from different angles.

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My profession is a journalist, but my hobby for 8 years has been studying Forex investing and trading. During this time, I managed to gain extensive experience in investing and trading cryptocurrencies and double my capital in the Forex market. To be the author of this magazine, the site owners invited me to participate in one of the 2020 trading webinars, and I will try to reveal the most relevant crypto market news for you.

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