Male/female parity: why it bothers us

On this International Women’s Day, many managers may be filled with good intentions and may be tempted to implement a parity or positive discrimination project. Excellent: the cause is noble, and we encourage all employers to seriously question their employment equity practices.

But parity and positive discrimination deserve to be studied in depth before becoming a project. If it is managed in a clumsy way, it can be dangerous to have harmful repercussions, such as a deep feeling of injustice.“She only got this job because she’s a woman? Yes, it’s because we have a measure that favors women when they apply for management positions, apparently we didn’t have enough of them.”When do we talk about her skills and the position she earned? Women don’t want to be pitied. They want to be recognized for their true value.

The writings are numerous and current statistics still show gaps: employee groups, including women, are disadvantaged compared to the supremacy of the white man. Lower salaries, unavailable benefits, unfilled positions… the list goes on.

How can we stop systemic discrimination, without giving privileges that make us cringe?

Diligently complete your pay equity exercise and verify that no woman (and no employee in short) obtains a lower salary simply because their salary expectations when hired allowed you to save money. Of course, training and integration are expensive, but adjustments must be made when the employee reaches full autonomy.

Then adapt your requirements so that women are not disadvantaged compared to men. We immediately think of work equipment, but we also have to think about working hours. Although men are becoming more and more involved in family management, it is still women who do more[1]. A woman does not have access to a management role because management committees take place early in the morning or late in the evening, under the pretext of not harming productivity? Why not change this schedule to allow more opportunities for all your qualified employees?

Women deserve their place in every place they want to go. And they will get there on their own because they are fighters. So let them go wherever they want. Stop giving them barriers, labels, stereotypes, pretexts, misogynistic examples, prejudices, excuses, limiting beliefs, false advice, unwanted advice, discomfort, undue pressure…

[1]According to a Canadian study published in 2017 by researcher Rebecca Horne of the University of Alberta. Source :Horne, al(2017). Time, Money, or Gender? Predictors of the Division of Household Labor Across Life Stages,Sex RolesDOI: 10.1007/s11199-017-0832-1


Julie Tardif

Sales Director, Co-founder & Partner

Approved speaker and trainer

Human resources consultant

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