It’s no secret that there’s a gap in pay from male to female within the same job roles, and that the workplace balance needs to become more even. But how do gender & sexuality in the workplace affect women, men, and transgender employees on a day-to-day basis? Here are the findings you may not have known about hidden bias in your everyday work environment:
Women will work harder and longer (often without expecting more).
Women were found to be willing to work more hours on average than men–but not to speak up about their accomplishments or feel it warranted respect. Astonishingly, while women are less likely to boast about their hard-working habits, managers are also less likely to notice the disparity–which is why speaking up is critical for women to do. If you’re a woman, note how hard you do work–and let someone know! And also, take more time for yourself at the end of the day if you’re overdoing it. Men take time off, and you can, too. If you’re a man, look around you and note what’s really going on. Be aware of the contributions of everyone who surrounds you.
We segregate ourselves.
What? It’s true–everyone tends to seek workplace networks of similar types of people. Women mingle with other women, men mingle with other men, and so on. It makes sense: we feel most comfortable with what we know and understand. Unfortunately, this does have an impact on your day-to-day life. Men tend to be in higher positions of power (still). When lower-level men align themselves with other men, it’s easier for them to advance, having their connections, than for women, having fewer connections. It’s unfortunate, but true. So, for everyone: build your networks widely, and communicate beyond your comfort level. You never know who may provide you with the mentorship to truly make a difference–and you should balance your friendship bias, too.
Transgender employees on average report being more comfortable, happier, and better at work after transitioning.
The struggle and challenges to be accepted are very real. However, this enlightening fact is a positive sign, and it’s worth noting for everyone: those who come out, who openly discuss their preferences and life choices, and face them at work, are on average happier and better at work overall. While we still have work to do in terms of widespread acceptance, it’s a heartening stat. All LGBT and transgender employees face fear of judgment still, on far too large of a scale, but in more good news: a high percentage of the talented workers facing discrimination will take the steps to leave an unhealthy environment and find a new one. While the world works to catch up with those who’ve discovered that different is wonderful, those people are finding empowerment and strength within themselves.