Avoiding Gender Discrimination in the Workplace
Many people in the workplace choose not to discuss gender-
related issues in the workplace because they think it is
inappropriate place to discuss such issues. Many companies
even tell their employees to steer clear of these sensitive
Many male managers are uncomfortable when trying to
discuss more female-related topics, like pregnancy or child-
rearing. Women can sometimes feel discriminated against
because these issues are not openly discussed.
Fear to discuss issues
Many women are also afraid to start discussing these issues because they fear that the company will
think that they are not committed to the company. Although these subjects should indeed be talked
about lightly and with care, they definitely should not be avoided completely.
There are several things managers and supervisors can do in order to ease the awkward and
uncomfortable environment surrounding gender issues in the workplace. One way is to make sure that
everyone knows that there is an open-door policy.
Open door policy
An open-door policy means that employees are free to talk about pregnancy, child-rearing, and other
issues that are directly related to specific genders. Employees should not feel repressed or stifled in the
While the privacy of employees should be respected, employees should also know that they shouldn’t
talk about these issues in excess. Managers do not want other employees to start feeling uncomfortable
because of some of the conversation topic choices of certain employees.
Managers and supervisors should also make an effort to respect the privacy of their employees, whether
they are male or female. Managers should not be prying into the private lives of their employees.
If their employees wish to share private information about their lives with them, than that is alright. But
it is not the manager’s right to know specific and especially personal details about their employees’
One way to help employees feel comfortable in the workplace talking about gender-related issues is to
talk about your own experiences with certain gender-related issues. For example, you could bring up
your experiences with children and how you are planning on raising your family one day.
People often feel more comfortable talking about a certain subject when the person they are talking to
has experienced a similar situation or scenario. With both people in the conversation having substance
to bring to the table, the conversation will be easier and more comfortable for both parties.
Managers or supervisors should definitely
shy away from implicating that leaving the
company to go raise a family is a bad thing.
People have the right to make their own
decisions about their lives, and their
manager or supervisor should not have a
say in what they choose.
Managers are not allowed to make
promotion-related decisions based on an
individual’s decision to become pregnant or raise a family. It is widely known in our society that women
can raise a family and work at the same time.
Compliance training is part of the training that is required for most business jobs. Part of compliance
training is training on work ethics.
Managers and supervisors should make sure that everyone who works for them is aware of imperative
Photo credit: Salfalko, Kalexanderson