By Silke Rathbone


It may seem to many an obvious policy ensuring inclusivity when it comes to gender diversity in the workplace. But unfortunately, many employees find themselves excluded without their employers even being aware of their discomfort and unhappiness.

What is gender diversity?

Hiring a good mix of males, females, nonbinary, and transgender employees is not enough nowadays. You have to consider a few factors with inclusivity and gender diversity.

As the owner of your business, you need to look at the bigger picture, the wider possible scenario.

Yes, you need to ensure there is a fair and equitable representation of people of all genders, but you also need to ensure:

  • That management is aware of the mix and that within management, there is a fair balance;
  • That all processes, wording and policies are effectively put in place so that there is no bias against any one gender;
  • That your environment is safe for all genders;
  • And that should there be any bullying or harassment, that your policies are clear and that all are aware of them.


It all starts with recruitment

Embracing the value of a diverse workforce starts at the recruitment stage. Knowing that each gender brings their own strengths and skills to the party can open up your eyes to the possibilities. Not only their strengths and skills but their varied creative viewpoints too.

Focus on:

  1. Improving your job descriptions so that no gender bias exists;
  2. Source a gender-diverse pipeline from the start;
  3. Ensure your interview questions are not gender-specific.


How to turn an existing workforce into a gender-diverse and fair place


Even if you know that your current workforce does not fit the bill in terms of fair representation, you can still put some policies in place to guide and educate.

  • Promotional Policies

What are your processes for promoting someone? How does your merit system work? And is there any chance someone’s gender could be considered during these processes? If you feel there may be, you may need to address your policies in a hurry.

  • Meeting Management

When meetings are arranged and implemented, are all genders addressed the same? When someone has an idea or opinion, are they heard fairly, regardless of gender?

  • Organised Events

When putting events or launches together, are you sensitive to the type of themes you’re using, the venues, and the topics? All can make a difference to how someone perceives them, and very quickly, you can offend without realising it.

  • Constant Unconscious bias-training

Very often, it is a simple training process for existing staff which can assist everyone in understanding just what a gender-diverse workforce can look like

  • Exit Interviews

Learn from your exit interviews. Be brave enough to ask what worked and what didn’t from every employee leaving your service.

Labour Excel specialises in offering a variety of Labour Law and HR Solutions. Silke Rathbone, one of the Principal Partners, has crafted and honed her skillset and assists corporates and individuals along the Labour journey to ensure they understand what is required of them at all levels.