Gender

The “gender” dimension plays a major role in diversity management in Germany. Gender relations have a lasting impact on organisations. Gender identities, furthermore, are very diverse, with male, female, trans* and inter* people.

The objective of diversity management is to break down stereotypes. This applies regarding all biological genders and gender identities. In unbiased organisations there is a climate of openness in which there is no pressure to justify oneself and prove one’s legitimacy. Gender and gender identity have no influence on the distribution of resources, tasks or responsibility among the employees of an organisation.

If a working environment is dominated by one gender, this impedes development and growth of labour. This can be seen not only in technical professions or in the IT industry, which are male-identified. This also applies to professions in the social services which – up to a certain level – are mostly pursued by women. The optimum, in contrast, is a culture in which everyone feels motivated to make their contribution. If some genders are clearly under-represented, the relevant employees are often unconsciously left out, given special treatment or, for instance for inter* people, not thought about or taken into account. One example of this is the “glass ceiling”, which impedes predominantly women from reaching leadership positions. With mixed teams and targeted programmes, organisations can work on the under-representation of certain groups and on unconscious biases.

The focus of any measures is on everyone feeling involved and being given space to fashion their own lives. The result is a productive working environment.

An initial starting point is an inclusive, gender-appropriate language both internally and externally. Guidelines in companies and organisations help, for instance, in dealing with bureaucratic formalities in case of a transition, and in dismantling insecurity among managers. Other steps tackle unequal pay of the genders, fathers’ exercising their right to parental leave, and part-time models for all genders in management positions. In addition, networks that are open to all employees are suitable for representing the interests of marginalised groups.

The * represents the many designations and manifestations of gender and gender identity, which go far beyond intersexual, intergender, transsexual, transgender, etc.

 

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