Corporate culture

Unfortunately, there’s still a lot of gender bias and stereotypes in business. It isn’t easy to change corporate culture, but there are ways that you can support female colleagues without being patronizing.

Evaluate Performance Fairly

Men are often hired based on their potential, while women are hired based on what they have accomplished. Women don’t get promoted because they are evaluated differently. Make people on your team aware of gender bias when evaluating performance. Have clear, concrete goals that are measurable and understood.

Give Women Credit

Many times, women receive less credit than men. Make sure to acknowledge the contributions of women on your team. Push back when women won’t accept credit for their role in success. Don’t allow women to take the blame when something fails, unless it’s really attributed to their role. Women are often undervalued. Change your corporate culture to make sure that they get credit.

Share Office Responsibilities

Everyone should have their share of office “housework.” Who is responsible for organizing events, taking notes and support? Don’t let the women on your team pick up the stereotypical roles of ordering lunch or providing administrative support.

Mentor Women

Give women the same opportunities that men have. Introduce the women on your team to influential people in the company or mentors who can help her career. Take women to networking opportunities. Encourage other male senior leaders to offer equal access.

Watch for Bias Traps

Women are often called bossy or ambitious, while a man might be described as confident and strong in the same situation. When you’re tempted to or hear a woman being called out for strong behavior, check yourself to see if you’d say the same thing if it were a man. Challenge yourself to change your thinking and that of others.

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