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Inclusion-Oriented Companies Avoiding Sexism Are More Successful

Did you know that eight out of ten women have already experienced sexism in the workplace? However, female employees don't always know how to cope with sexist remarks at work.

The Woman Post | Carolina Rodríguez Monclou

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Sexism in the workplace isn't always explicit. Nevertheless, women tend to be vastly underrepresented at every level regarding diversity in the workplace, especially at senior levels. As proof of it, according to McKinsey & Company, women only hold 38% of manager positions, while men hold 68% of manager positions.

Even within those roles, women face microaggressions, which drastically affect 64% of women in the workplace. There's a lot of challenges about being a woman, and those include:

-Receiving unsolicited comments on your body.

-Being interrupted by colleagues when sharing your ideas.

-Being asked if it's that time of the month if you are not smiling.

-Being asked about marriage and having children.

-Being called "darling," "sweetie," "good girl," "babe," etc.

-Being pressured into doing office housework like fetch coffees or organize events.

How Does Sexism Affect Companies?

Sexist attitudes impact productivity and engagement across the board. In fact, microaggressions generate an erosion of trust and profitability. Chief Science Officer at Limeade, Laura Hamill, and entrepreneur Laurie Ruettimann explained in a webinar titled "Women in the Workplace" what inclusion is and why there is an inherent tension. They explain that the key to inclusion is making sure each employee feels INCLUDED, and this is exactly where many companies lose momentum.

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Laura highlights, "you need true commitment from everyone, every day and throughout an organization to create a culture that feels inclusive."

With inclusion, women are 14% happier in their jobs when ideas are judged by their quality, not by who raised them, and 44% less likely to leave when the company quickly addresses disrespectful behavior toward them.

The Power of Inclusion

The following studies point out some of the benefits when companies correctly manage sexist comments and behaviors:

-Employees who feel included are 28% more engaged at work (Limeade Institute, 2018.)

-Inclusive workplaces are eight times more likely to have overall better business outcomes (Bersin by Deloitte, 2017.)

-Employees who feel included typically intend to stay three times longer with their company (Limeade Institute, 2018.)

-Inclusive workplaces are six times more likely to anticipate change and effectively respond (Deloitte Review, 2018.)

Hamill and Ruettimann assure that inclusion is also related to the likelihood to recommend and intent to stay. As proof of it, those with higher inclusion levels are more likely to recommend their organization as a great place to work and plan on staying.

What Are Some Steps You Can Take To Build an Inclusive Organization?

To prevent sexist comments in the workplace, it's essential to know the components of inclusion: having a voice, belonging, sense of uniqueness, feeling valued, learning & development, collaborative environment, access to resources, and strategic alignment.

Organizational support is essential when it comes to employees' well-being. For this reason, inclusion is the key to building better workplaces for women, where they can bring their authentic selves to work every day. Creating spaces where employees, especially women, can feel safe and heard is the key.