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09 October 2023

Overcoming Barriers: Gender Inequality in the Business World

Author CottGroup Hukuk ve Mevzuat Ekibi, Category Work Life

Overcoming Barriers: Gender Inequality in the Business World

    Gender inequality is not just a concept but a major issue that affects our daily lives. The issue is often reflected in the business world. It's critical to imagine the difficulties that both women and men experience in this environment. In an ideal workplace, everyone should have equal opportunities and feel valued and appreciated. Sadly, gender inequality often results in some employees being left behind while their colleagues climb the ladder of success, leading to unhappiness and loss of motivation. They may even experience mobbing in the workplace. These experiences highlight the significant problem of gender inequality in the Turkish business world that we must address. In this article, we will explore the tangible aspects of this issue, provide solutions, and share inspiring examples. Together, we can create a more equitable and fair business world.

    Gender Inequality in Corporate Türkiye: A Growing Concern

    In Türkiye’s corporate world, gender inequality takes on many forms. The reality of gender-based imbalance in senior management positions is undeniable. According to TURKSTAT data (In Turkish), the percentage of women in senior and middle management positions in 2021 increased by only 6.3% compared to 2012, reaching 20.7%. These challenges arise from a system that is built over time on persistent misconceptions rooted in societal norms. As women strive for higher management or decision-making positions, they not only struggle to move up the career ladder but also with systemic barriers such as lack of equal opportunities in the workplace.

    Additionally, wage inequality is another obstacle women encounter. Female employees who perform the same duties as their male colleagues may receive lower wages and fewer opportunities for advancement. This situation is not limited to a wage gap but also presents a hindrance to women's careers. Other factors such as ethnicity, age, and sexual orientation can combine with inequalities to create a more complex picture.

    Advancing Gender Equality in the Workplace: Why It Matters

    Research has consistently shown that gender equality has a beneficial impact on diversity and profitability in the workplace. When companies have employees of diverse genders, they are more likely to be innovative and competitive, as individuals from various gender identities bring unique perspectives. According to the Diversity Matters report by the McKinsey Global Institute, companies with a higher representation of women in their executive teams are more likely to have better profitability than companies with a lower representation of women. The report also suggests that companies with diverse workforces are better equipped to innovate and solve complex problems. This diversity allows for a wider range of viewpoints on workplace issues and encourages the discovery of novel solutions. Gender equality also contributes to creating a more equitable society. When women are encouraged to participate in the workforce, it supports economic growth and sustainable development. Additionally, gender equality empowers women and plays a crucial role in unlocking their full potential. In conclusion, gender equality in the workplace has positive effects on both businesses and society as a whole. Therefore, it's vital to maintain our commitment to gender equality and implement this principle in all workplaces to build a more sustainable future.

    Challenges Women Face in the Workplace

    We briefly mentioned earlier the obstacles that women may face in the workplace. Now, let's take a closer look at them:

    1. Discrimination and Bias: Many workplaces still exhibit a traditionally male-dominated culture despite advancements. As a result, women may encounter bias and discrimination based on their gender, preventing them from advancing in their careers, especially in terms of promotions and leadership roles.
    2. Opportunity Inequality: Women may also experience difficulties in accessing the same opportunities as their male counterparts. For example, women may find it harder to secure leadership positions or manage projects.
    3. Balancing Work and Family Life: Women may struggle to balance their professional and personal lives. Based on the TURKSTAT 2021 family structure survey (In Turkish), there is an unequal distribution of household chores. Specifically, women are responsible for the majority of childcare (94.4%), laundry and dishwashing (85.6%), cooking (85.4%), and daily cleaning and tidying of the house (85.4%). This extra burden on women can make it challenging for them to achieve their professional goals, as they have less time and energy to dedicate to work.

    Fortunately, positive steps are being taken to address these issues and promote gender equality. Women's participation and influence in the workforce are on the rise, thanks to a range of policies and initiatives aimed at overcoming these challenges.

    Human Resources Initiatives to Empower Women

    Ensuring gender equality in the workplace is a significant responsibility for Human Resources departments. Here are a few steps that can be taken to reach this goal:

    1. Policies and Awareness: Companies should implement gender equality policies and procedures while fostering awareness among their employees. Raising awareness is essential in crafting a work environment where everyone contributes equally.
    2. Mentorship Programs: Employees can gain access to leadership positions through mentorship programs. These programs provide experienced leaders who can guide young talent and support the career development of them.
    3. Leadership Development Programs: Leadership development programs can help identify individuals who have leadership potential and help them develop their skills. These programs help employees improve their leadership abilities and prepare for advancement opportunities.
    4. Flexible Working Hours: Offering flexible working hours can help employees, particularly women, balance work and family life. This allows individuals to focus on their personal lives and be more productive in their professional journeys.
    5. Maintenance Assistance: Providing childcare and eldercare services for employees can help them focus on their professional goals. This makes it easier for them to return to work and maintain a healthy balance between work and family life.

    These Human Resources initiatives empower women in the workplace and encourage their career advancement. Additionally, they enable companies to break away from conventional norms and embrace innovative ideas to achieve their gender equality objectives.

    Trailblazing Women Overcoming Gender Inequality in Türkiye

    Numerous brave women in Türkiye have fought against gender inequality and achieved remarkable success. Inspirational women have defied gender norms and forged their own paths:

    • Entrepreneurs: Certain women have leaped outside of the traditional business world by starting their own companies. These entrepreneurs have pursued their passions and displayed courage to establish successful ventures, both from an economic and social perspective.
    • Top-Level Executives: Some women have attained top-ranking executive positions by challenging gender inequality. These leaders have contributed to the success of companies with their skills and determination, serving as role models for other women.
    • Success in Education and Science: Numerous women have excelled in education and scientific domains. Through their scientific research, contributions to education, and studies, these women have made significant impacts on the development of their societies.

    These success stories showcase that overcoming gender inequality and achieving success is attainable. Women who have successfully established themselves in the business world, through their perseverance and dedication, have played a pioneering role in shaping a more equitable and just future for their societies. Their stories continue to inspire all women and serve as examples for anyone who opposes gender inequality.

    Gender Equality: A Collective Responsibility

    Gender equality is not solely a concern for women but a shared responsibility for everyone. Men also have a pivotal role to play in advancing gender equality within the workplace. Here are key steps that men can take to champion gender equality and drive progress:

    • Raising Awareness: Men should openly express their commitment to gender equality. This proactive stance contributes to raising awareness about this issue within both the workplace and society. Seeking education on the topic enables men to gain a deeper understanding of critical gender equality issues.
    • Supporting Women in Leadership Roles: Encourage and actively support women in pursuing leadership positions. Providing unwavering support for capable women to progress in their careers and assume leadership roles significantly bolsters gender equality in the workplace.
    • Challenging Gender Norms: Men can champion gender equality by questioning and challenging societal gender norms.
    • Amplifying Women's Voices: Men should value the ideas and opinions of their female colleagues. Empowering women to share their workplace experiences and ensuring their voices are heard accelerates progress toward gender equality.

    Support from individuals of the opposite gender is pivotal in fostering a just and equitable work environment. This commitment benefits not only women but also enhances the overall work experience for every employee while cultivating an inclusive workplace culture.

    Gender inequality is a persistent issue in Türkiye's corporate landscape that needs to be addressed with further efforts. However, there are also encouraging developments in the journey towards solving this problem. Various initiatives and success stories led by Human Resources departments to empower women demonstrate that progress is possible. Gender equality is significant not only for women but for the entire society. Creating gender equality in the workplace fosters a fairer business environment, enhances a company's mosaic diversity, and presents a more modern image. Moreover, it lays the foundation for a fairer order for all sectors of society. As individuals who support gender equality, we can contribute to empowering women in Türkiye's corporate world. Together, we can strive towards a vision of a business world where everyone has equal opportunities. Let's heed this call and work together to support gender equality. Remember, every step taken for equality and justice propels our society towards a better future.

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    Contents provided in this article serve to informative purpose only. The article is confidential and property of CottGroup® and all of its affiliated legal entities. Quoting any of the contents without credit being given to the source is strictly prohibited. Regardless of having all the precautions and importance put in the preparation of this article, CottGroup® and its member companies cannot be held liable of the application or interpretation of the information provided. It is strictly advised to consult a professional for the application of the above-mentioned subject.

    For each concrete situation, it is strongly advised to seek guidance from a professional advisor. If you are a customer of ours, please consult with your customer representative before taking any action related to the announcement. If you are not a customer, seek advice from an expert.

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