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What is Gender Diversity in the Workplace?

Gender diversity in the workplace is defined by the equal employment of men, women, transgender, and nonbinary individuals, as well as equal opportunity to pay, benefits, promotions, and other opportunities. The importance of gender diversity in the workplace can not be overstated, and we will go into detail below.

Gender Diversity in the Workplace Statistics:

Zippia, The Career Expert conducted research into diversity in the workplace and found the following facts regarding gender:

  • Companies with a higher gender diversity platform perform 15-20% better than their competitors.
  • 67% of job seekers look at a company's diversity when job hunting.
  • 47% of the U.S. workforce is made up of women.
  • Only 36% of employed black women hold management or professional occupations.
  • Only 3.6% of America's Fortune 500 companies are led by women.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, 34% of men working from home with their children received promotions, compared to only 9% of women in the same position.
  • Working women earn between 19 and 35% less than working men.
  • There are 17 U.S. states that do not offer LGBTQ+ individuals any protection from discrimination in the workplace.
  • LGBTQ+ individuals are underrepresented in almost every level of business, from entry-level to management.
  • 32% of transgender individuals think about leaving their workplace after a year.
  • 40% of employees wish their companies were more gender inclusive.

According to a study by Built In:

  • Women earn 83% of the salary that men do.
  • Women are 30% less likely to be called back for an interview than men with the same qualifications.
  • Only 5% of the overall 26% of women in C-suite positions are women of color.
  • Highly diverse companies have a cash flow per employee that is 2.5 times higher than companies that are not diverse.
  • Companies with a workforce that is more than 30% female are more likely to outperform their competitors.
  • 80% of employees want to work for companies that value inclusivity and equality.

Challenges of Gender Diversity in the Workplace:

  • Unequal pay.
  • Unconscious bias.
  • Workplace bullying and microaggressions.
  • Sexual harassment.
  • Racism.
  • Promotion of men over other genders.
  • The reluctance of underrepresented genders to ask for raises.
  • Male perceptions of others.

Diversity vs. Inclusion: Why is Gender Diversity in the Workplace Not Enough?

While committing yourself to hiring more employees from underrepresented groups is a step closer to creating a more gender-diverse workplace, it is not enough: companies should also work on gender inclusion in the workplace.

A gender-diverse workplace has an equal representation of men, women, transgender, and nonbinary individuals. A gender-inclusive workplace has a company culture that helps employees feel like they are valued and can bring their true selves to work, where they will feel like they belong.

Therefore, gender diversity and gender inclusion go hand-in-hand in creating a company culture that will promote a solid, positive company reputation, increase staff retention, and also increase company revenue.

Benefits of Gender Diversity in the Workplace:

  • A more gender-diverse hiring platform means a wider pool of talent to draw from, increasing your company's level of skill.
  • The different viewpoints brought to the table by the different genders will lead to an increase in innovation and creativity.
  • Because women have a higher level of cognitive empathy than men, and are thus better able to understand nonverbal cues, a more gender-diverse workplace will enhance teamwork and collaboration.
  • A more gender-inclusive workplace fosters understanding and gets rid of workplace microaggressions and bullying, leading to a happier workforce, boosting morale, and increasing staff retention.
  • With a fair representation of the different genders, your company will have a better understanding of your customers' needs.
  • A commitment to gender diversity and inclusivity will improve your company's reputation with job seekers and customers.

Disadvantages of Gender Diversity in the Workplace:

  • A more gender-diverse workplace may lead to discomfort, with some individuals unable to understand or accept a different viewpoint.
  • Increasing gender diversity does not eliminate discrimination, which may lead to an increase in workplace hostility.
  • When a company focuses entirely on gender-inclusive hiring and on the differences in the workforce, it can lead to a loss of focus in hiring based on skill and on providing for customers and growing the business.
  • Companies will have to invest time and money in sensitivity training and raising cultural awareness.
  • An increase in gender differences may lead to a decrease in communication levels.
  • An increase in ideas and creativity may lead to more time spent debating these ideas, slowing down work and increasing the chances of teams missing deadlines.

Examples of gender diversity in the workplace:

Gender diversity in the workplace does not just mean a 50/50 ratio of men to women in your company, but rather the equal representation of all genders across all levels and roles within the organization.

This means that from entry-level to C-suite level, your company should strive to give equal opportunity for hiring and promotion to men, women, transgender, and nonbinary individuals. It's important to remember that excellence is based on skill and good management, not gender, and should be rewarded accordingly.

How to Improve and Promote Gender Diversity in the Workplace:

1. Challenge stereotypes.

Try to combat gender stereotypes in the workplace by fostering open discussions. These gender stereotypes generally include ideas such as IT techs being "geeks" who play lots of video games and don't date, or that women in charge are "bossy" or too "soft" to be in charge.

You should also go over your job description templates and company policies and delete words that hold a gender bias. Using words like "assertive" or "competitive" often discourages women from applying for jobs as these are seen as masculine traits. Likewise, men often avoid applying for jobs that use words such as "supportive" and "polite," as these are seen as feminine traits.

2. Amplify employee voices.

All employees want to be treated fairly or the same as male employees have traditionally been treated. One of the ways to do this is to help employees voice their thoughts, opinions, and ideas by giving each employee due attention and consideration of their ideas, rather than dismissing them outright because they are not men.

3. Practice fair promotion practices.

As we have already seen, women occupy fewer managerial positions than men, and, in fact, only 87 women for every 100 men are promoted to manager. To encourage fair promotion practices, you should ensure that every employee has an equal amount of contact with seniors and mentors.

4. Ensure a diverse hiring committee.

Many companies leave the role of ensuring diversity up to one person, when in fact your entire hiring committee should represent fair workplace gender diversity. A diverse hiring board using a predetermined set of questions to eliminate bias will help put your candidates at ease. Employers should also consider using a scorecard in the hiring process, to keep the focus on the desired skills and experience for the position.

5. Implement gender diversity training in the workplace.

Gender diversity training is a must in the workplace to foster a more inclusive work environment and reduce the amount of microaggressions and discrimination. This kind of training can help your employees to better understand each other and learn to understand what gender diversity is, how it affects everyone, and what behaviors are not acceptable in the workplace.

Another good type of training is learning to recognize and combat unconscious stereotypes that lead to unconscious bias. By providing this training to your hiring managers, you ensure a fairer and more objective hiring process.

Furthermore, you should implement diversity and inclusion policies in your workplace that take into account the different backgrounds and circumstances of your workers. This kind of gender identity legislation and inclusion fosters a welcoming and respectful workplace and will help with employee retention.

Anti-discrimination policies are also important to discourage workplace bullying and foster a safe environment where employees feel empowered to speak up against discrimination and harassment.

6. Implement gender diversity initiatives in the workplace.

It is important to implement changes to your workplace structure to ensure gender diversity and equality in the workplace. Regularly perform a pay equity analysis to ensure all employees receive equal pay based on their role, experience, education, and skill level, rather than gender. You should also review your promotions and succession planning to ensure equal opportunity for all.

Furthermore, conduct employee surveys to get insight into your company culture and how the different genders feel they are treated. Implement policies to correct any potential issues and improve gender inclusion in your workplace.

7. Keep track of diversity metrics.

By paying attention to and tracking your hiring metrics, promotion metrics, employee satisfaction levels, and retention rates, you can measure the impact of your gender diversity efforts and continue to improve them.

How to address employees and coworkers without offense:

The discussion on pronouns has become a worldwide debate, with more and more individuals using their pronouns to identify their gender or nonspecific gender. The most common pronouns used include "she/her," "he/him," and "they/them," as well as using "Mx" to replace gendered honorifics like "Mr." and "Ms." However, some employees may prefer it for others to just use their name.

It is offensive to refer to individuals as "it" or "he-she," unless they specifically request it. So, how do you know? How do you ask your employees what their pronouns are so as not to cause offense or make a hurtful assumption?

You will not always be able to guess by looking at a person and it is offensive to simply assume, so try asking, "Which pronouns do you use?" Try not to ask for someone's "preferred" pronouns, as gender identity is part of your make-up, it's not a preference or a choice.

If you're in a meeting or interview setting, try first introducing yourself and including your pronouns. For example, you may say something like, "Hello, I'm John and my pronouns are "he/him." Continue as normal so as not to pressure the other party into responding in kind, as some people may not yet be comfortable with their gender identities.

Consider also including your pronouns in your interoffice emails, signing off with your name followed by your pronouns in brackets. In this way, you can normalize the use of pronouns in the workplace and create an inclusive environment.

Remember, mistakes do happen, and when they do, simply apologize and allow the conversation to carry on as normal.

Diversity vs. Inclusion in the Workplace

Understanding the differences and how they affect the company culture.


How do you show gender diversity in the workplace?

  1. Combat gender stereotypes and remove connotative language from your job ads.
  2. Encourage all employees to voice their ideas, opinions, and thoughts.
  3. Ensure all employees have equal access to mentors and training to ensure fair promotion practices.
  4. Ensure a gender-diverse hiring committee.
  5. Implement gender diversity training.
  6. Implement policies against microaggressions, workplace bullying, and discrimination.
  7. Keep track of the diversity metrics in your business.

What are the examples of gender diversity in the workplace?

Gender diversity in the workplace strives to give equal opportunity for hiring and promotion to men, women, transgender, and nonbinary individuals. Take a look at our discussion of gender diversity in the workplace for more ideas.

Why is it important to have gender equality in the workplace?

The importance of gender diversity in the workplace can not be overstated. In our current era, 40% of employees wish their companies were more gender inclusive, and a more diverse and inclusive workplace leads to a higher work output as well as a higher rate of employee retention.

What is the law for gender diversity in the workplace?

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employers from treating their employees any differently or less favorably, based on their gender, which includes sexual orientation, identity, and pregnancy.

Where can I find gender diversity in the workplace statistics?

We have listed some gender diversity statistics in our article above, including links to the appropriate studies and more statistics.

Is there a gender diversity in the workplace PDF?

As an employer, you should create gender inclusion policies for your workplace. Once you have them finalized, you can create a PDF document to be submitted to the department heads or all employees.

Where can I read gender diversity in the workplace articles?

What is the difference between gender diversity and inclusion in the workplace?

A gender-diverse workplace has an equal representation of men, women, transgender, and nonbinary individuals. A gender-inclusive workplace has a company culture that helps employees feel like they are valued and can bring their true selves to work, where they will feel like they belong. For a more in-depth discussion, take a look at our article on diversity vs. inclusion in the workplace.

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