Special offer 

Jumpstart your hiring with a $75 credit to sponsor your first job.*

Sponsored jobs are 4.5X more likely to result in a hire.**
  • Invite matched candidates to apply.
  • Increase your visibility in job search results
  • Appear to more candidates longer

How to Promote Gender Equality in the Workplace

Gender inequality in the workplace is an important issue for any business. Enhancing workplace diversity and alleviating gender discrimination may increase productivity, reduce conflict and prevent legal issues. Gender equality can help capture the skills, ideas and perspectives that each employee offers. Not only that, but people want to work at companies that prioritize equality. According to an Indeed survey, 55% of job seekers said it’s “very” or “extremely” important to work at a company that prioritizes diversity and inclusion.* For these reasons, it’s important to be intentional about taking steps to promote gender equality in your workplace. *Indeed survey, n=750

Post a Job

What is gender equality in the workplace?

Gender equality in the workplace means employees of all genders have access to the same rewards, opportunities and resources at a company, including:

  • Equal pay and benefits for comparable roles with similar responsibilities
  • Equal opportunities for promotions and career progression
  • Equal consideration of needs

Benefits of gender equality in the workplace

There are numerous benefits of maintaining gender equality in the workplace, including:

  • Positive company culture: A gender-equal environment where all employees feel respected and valued creates an overall positive workplace. This gender-diverse culture may help your employees notice that their coworkers have talents and strengths they don’t possess. Appreciation for these differences can help promote respect.
  • More innovation and creativity: People of different genders bring unique talents, strengths and skills to the workplace, which can improve collaboration and creativity. Companies often find that gender diversity increases innovation.
  • Enhanced reputation: By intentionally promoting gender equality in the workplace, you’ll foster an excellent company reputation. People who have similar values will want to work for you. Happy employees help create a positive, productive workforce.
  • Improved conflict resolution: Strong communication skills among employees are essential for success. People of different genders naturally communicate differently, with some preferring to communicate problems directly and others working as peacemakers. When you combine all these communication styles in one work environment, you can more easily achieve conflict resolution.

Components of gender inequality in the workplace

Both men and women may face issues regarding gender inequality in the workplace, although women typically deal with it more often than men. These components can identify gender inequality in the workplace:


A pay gap continues to be a large part of gender inequality in the workplace. The gap is characterized by one gender being paid less to do the same job as the other gender. Usually, women are paid less than men, even if they hold the same positions and have similar work experience and educational backgrounds. For each dollar a man earns, a woman earns roughly 82 cents, creating an 18-cent pay difference between the genders. That gap is often larger for certain groups of women. For instance, in managerial roles, the pay gap increases to 23 cents, with female managers typically earning only 77 cents for each dollar earned by a male counterpart.


There’s also a gender leadership gap. Many women are often passed up for promotion opportunities due to gender discrimination. Data shows there are enough qualified women to fill existing leadership roles, but gender bias may be keeping women from progressing to these positions. Supporting internal growth opportunities for all employees, widening your recruitment networks and examining your biases can help you address this at your company. Read more: Understanding Unconscious Bias at the Workplace


Male employers often prefer hiring male employees and hiring managers are more likely to click on a male’s application profile instead of a woman’s. In one gender experiment, when a male employer was making a hiring decision, women had only a 40% chance of getting the job. This indicates that women are often at a disadvantage from the start of the hiring process—even if they have the same skills, experience and qualifications.


Gender inclusion in the workplace can vary depending on the business. However, excluding an individual from team projects, company outings, meetings and necessary decision-making because of gender falls within the realm of gender inequality. When an individual isn’t included in tasks or events, it can prevent them from becoming successful, productive worker. Related: Team Building Tips and Activities to Boost Employee Morale and Engagement

How to promote gender equality in the workplace

Here are some steps you can take to promote gender equality in the workplace:

1. Increase hiring diversity

Review your job descriptions and assess whether your job requirements could be altered to broaden the pool of applicants. For example, if a position currently requires 15 years of experience, consider if 10 years of experience would be sufficient. You can also evaluate whether other types of experiences or education could qualify applicants for senior-level positions. It’s also a good idea to think carefully about the language you use in your job postings. For example, certain words like “assertive” and “dominant” may attract more men than women. If you have a hiring panel, make sure that it’s gender diverse. You can also ensure that you have fair compensation practices and use employee exit interviews to get honest feedback from employees about their perception of gender equality in the workplace.

Related: Gender Pronouns in the Workplace

2. Review equal pay laws

Review the federal equal pay law, and then review state laws. Many laws state that employers are required to provide equal pay for equal work, which includes the same skills, responsibilities, working conditions and effort. You can note any areas of improvement needed in your business regarding equal pay for equal work, and develop a policy relating to equal pay in your code of conduct.

3. Begin a pay audit

Consider conducting a pay audit to see if your male and female employees are paid comparably. This may help you identify if you offer equal employment opportunities. You can seek help from an HR professional or outside source, or you can do it yourself using a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet you use to conduct the audit should have sections for employment positions, education, performance and experience to help you spot gender pay gaps.

4. Consider updating your training

Review your training on gender discrimination and inequality. Check your current training programs to see if they’re informative and detailed enough to make an impact. Another option is to make gender inequality training mandatory once a year. This way, the information is at the forefront of your employees’ minds and can be more easily reflected in their actions. Related: 5 Steps to Creating an Effective Training and Development Program

5. Revise pay secrecy policies

Pay secrecy policies may lead to discrepancies with the gender pay gap and may be illegal. The more employees discuss salary information, the more aware they can become of gender inequalities in the workplace. Consider publishing salary data. Recording and sharing salary information with employees can help assure your workforce that everyone is being paid fairly and ensuring gender pay equality is a priority. Some companies publish pay brackets outlining the salary and general requirements for each position.

Read more: Pay Transparency: Benefits and Different Levels

6. Promote work-life balance

Parents might struggle to reach career goals because of the challenges of working while raising a family. To relieve stress for working parents, some companies offer parental leave for mothers and fathers. Workplace flexibility is also something many people look for when evaluating whether they want to work for a company. This option is especially appealing for parents who need flexibility to balance a career and raising children.

7. Create an open-minded atmosphere

Promote a culture where employees know they’re appreciated based on their talent and performance. Get to know team members on a personal level, regardless of their gender or background. This can deepen your appreciation for differences and promote a welcoming, inclusive work environment.

Related: How to Show Appreciation to Your Employees

8. Provide mentorship for everyone

An experienced mentor can be invaluable for helping employees navigate their careers. Consider implementing a mentorship program. While pairing employees of the same gender can be useful, companies should also consider pairing employees with a senior manager of the opposite gender.

9. Keep accurate documentation

Document each employee’s qualifications, pay, position, education and work experience. There are many times when an employee may deserve to be paid more, however, employers are responsible for making these distinctions based on concrete evidence.

Gender inequality in the workplace FAQs

What should gender equality look like in the workplace?

Gender equality should be characterized by these important components:

  • Each gender can fully participate in the workplace
  • Equal opportunities for each gender to achieve leadership positions
  • Acceptance for those who have caregiving and family responsibilities
  • Equal pay for equal work

What are the effects of gender inequality in the workplace?

Gender inequality can have many adverse effects such as:

Why does gender inequality occur in the workplace?

Gender inequality can occur in the workplace due to traditional gender roles and persistent gender bias. There are gender biases that may inadvertently give an advantage to one gender over the other, such as the idea that men have more physical capability or that women are better in nurturing roles.

Can gender inequality in the workplace result in legal action?

If you discriminate against female employees based on their gender, your company could face legal action. Employers aren’t allowed to discriminate or treat employees differently based on factors like gender, sexual orientation or gender identity. Reviewing labor laws and evaluating your practices may help you avoid being sued.

Post a Job

Ready to get started?

Post a Job

*Indeed provides this information as a courtesy to users of this site. Please note that we are not your recruiting or legal advisor, we are not responsible for the content of your job descriptions, and none of the information provided herein guarantees performance.