By: Sandrine El Khodry, VP Alcatel Lucent Enterprise, MEA Region

Gender equality in the workplace has been an issue for decades, and while vast progress has been made, the matter in question still persists today.   

As per the latest findings of the World Bank, the global labour force participation of females as of 2022, stands at 50% vs. 80% for males.

In some regions, such as the MEA region, the female participation to the labour market, stoops on average to 25% only, whereas for males it consistently averages to 80% across regions.

The female participation in the workforce globally has been stagnant across the last three decades. Some of the main contributing factors are family expansion, certain jobs/roles that remain to be perceived male dominant/oriented or as we say “gender biased”, rigid social structures and norms, the pandemic recently and most noticeably, the significant salary gap between male & female business professionals.

However, as per many industry researches conducted across the globe, a mix of male and female business leaders collaborating together, result in stronger bottom line deliveries, as well as increased innovation and accountability.

The rise of service-based sector economies with higher education levels, has already positively impacted the onboarding of more females professionally.

This empowered large enterprises and/or even governmental entities to take a bolder approach whilst introducing gender equality ratios across markets and/or functions to ensure there is a balanced approach within the workforce.

The concept and idea behind it, is ground-breaking, whilst tackling the issue about salary gaps & at the same time positively impacting the growth and innovation of organizations.

However, the revamped business model also holds a risk maintain the gender quota, certain roles could be filled on the basis/criteria of gender only, and not the right skills set and/or expertise to fulfil the role successfully.

To counter this drawback, rigid selection processes and KPI measurement frameworks are to be actively deployed to ensure that the gender ratio business model only positively contributes to business success and growth.

These ongoing initiatives will be vital to break through the “glass ceiling” that prevents minorities and female professionals from achieving elevated professional success.

Finally, to ensure gender equality within your organization, here are some golden rules:

  • Identify gender bias in your recruitment process through:
    • Blind evaluations
    • Standardized Hiring processes
  • Review internal anti-discrimination and bias policies.
  • Implement regular gender bias training modules to educate team members and create open dialogue. 
  • Offer incentives, rewards for equal opportunities.
  • Give everyone a seat at the table for important projects.
  • Diversify the boardroom.