Gender equality and employee wellbeing in the workplace

two colleagues smiling and laughing together in office, gender equality

Article by Nada Khaddage-Soboh, Ph.D.

In the current VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) environment, the sustainability of an organisation depends on its human capital.

Respected and valued employees tend to be more engaging, leading to better performance and thus higher productivity. Successful organisations emphasise on talent development and retention rather than sales, revenues or investments. These institutions in such a dynamic world prioritise employees’ wellbeing and high satisfaction levels specifically for women who seek to balance their work and life obligations. Women joining the workforce are not accompanied with any change in their familial responsibilities leaving them with the burden of both. Although the world witnessed economic development in the last 40 years, women’s wellbeing and happiness have decreased since 1970s compared to men.

Lately, companies are realising the direct relationship between empowered human capital and their competitive advantage. The successful ones are concentrating on attracting and retaining talents to sustain their position in the market.

Employees’ wellbeing is seen to be directly affecting the productivity levels, dependability, and the overall work quality. Wellbeing starts by ensuring gender equality at the workplace that is achieved when all the employees have equal resources, opportunities, and rewards. Its proper application creates a safe and healthy working environment, enhances the internal culture, and opens equal horizons for leadership positions.

Organisations valuing gender equality have to analyse the ratio of genders at all the managerial levels, reject any Gender Gap Pay or stereotyping, and provide equal developmental and learning opportunities on a continuous basis. Firms shall emphasise work-life balance issues, make sure that leadership roles are accessible for women as well, and take strict actions towards any discrimination or harassment case. An effective kickoff towards equality starts through assuring the neutrality of vacancy announcements, interview questions, policies’ applications, and exit interview information. It’s maintaining the availability of equivalent chances for everyone from the recruitment to the exit stage.

As per McKinsey’s latest report “Women in the Workplace 2022”, women step away from their workplaces due to the growth obstacles they face at the leadership levels, which are clearer as well for women of color. Ambitious women seek advancement but and till our nowadays are facing stronger headwinds compared to men. Women leaders are overworked to prove themselves yet they are still underrecognised. They feel more drained compared to men. Female leaders value flexibility and cherish being part of a socially responsible environment that supports diversity, equity, and inclusion. As per various studies, women who have the luxury of flexible working schedule are less likely to change their jobs. They are happier employees and more willing to overcome exhaustion.  Healthy working environments that accentuate employees’ well-being and highlight gender equality issues are the only ones to stay in the market on the long-term. This is the main reason for organisation to double the efforts in this area.

About the author

Dr. Nada Khaddage-SobohDr. Nada Khaddage-Soboh earned her Ph.D. in Business Management in 2018. Her thesis tackled employees’ issues mainly work-life balance, job satisfaction and family-friendly policies at workplace.

She has international teaching and training experience. Lately she finalized another  MA in Interdisciplinary Gender Studies at the Lebanese American University (LAU) due to her passion in studying the effect of gender issues on human resources activities at the workplace. She is currently a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at LAU, and an assistant professor at GBSB Global Business School.

She is an active trainer in entrepreneurship, business consulting, and developmental fields. She is passionate about empowering women and youths. Her research interests are mainly but not limited to entrepreneurship, human resources, artificial intelligence as well as gender related issues.

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