Gender Biases in the HR World | HR WALAY BOL
HR WALAY BOL – a neat out of the box concept which provides the participants to deliberate over various a multitude of topics ranging from purely HR related concerns to as diverse as backpack travelling.
Having said that the first ever session of HR WALAY BOL was held on the 12th of September 2015 with a multitude of participants from all walks of life. And since the very core which binds most of us together is HR – it was befitting to launch the session on a theme relating to HR – hence “Gender Biases in the HR World”.
The session lasted approximately for 2 hours and touched upon various aspects of gender biases such as the understanding the concept itself and how deep it has seeped into us as a nation. Some of the key points which we the HR WALAY managed to sift out of the plethora of conversation are as follows:-
o Gender bias is not just an HR concern infact it is so deeply embedded into our society that is actually taken on the role of a national value.
o Where on a societal level various forums are addressing the concern in reference to gender bias and its effect on the overall productivity of the nation; it also needs to be addressed on an individual basis.
o Individual perceptions on gender bias need to be adjusted and if need to be driven home via a holistic change management route. An apt example to express how deeply rooted this issue is within our society is that men and women alike – believe that women have it easy in the corporate world simply because they are able to flaunt themselves and get what they want. Whilst on the other tangent you have again a mix of men and women alike who believe that men have it easier since it is ultimately a man’s world. It is this very concept which needs to change – we all have it equal; what we make of it is our prerogative and not our genders.
o Specific to the HR aspect – gender bias exists based on requirements of a said position. This could be primarily due to pre-determined beliefs or trends or as complex as an actual prerequisite for a position because the situation demands it.
o Similarly on the plane of equal rights if women expect equal rights then they need to understand that equal rights means being able to do just about everything (save for which nature limits ) a man is expected to do. One can’t scream equal rights and then demand special treatment based on their gender.
Outcome & Recommendations
o Where there is a need to improve on gender biasness across the board; however there is a need to also understand that we have certain societal restraints. Hence a certain level of appropriateness is required whilst realigning this concept.
o On a specifically HR level some learning which came through were:-
Personal questions such as marital status, expected marriage, family background need to be avoided. Primarily so since as such they have no direct impact on the individuals capacity to perform and in a manner of speaking develop a pre-set notion for the assessor.
HR Leaders across the board need to understand the business they are associated with as opposed to just a superficial understanding. This will help them realize the actual needs of the business and subsequently derive apt SOPs and plans. In a nutshell everyone’s favorite terminology “Strategic HR” needs to move from paper to on ground reality!
— edited by Ms. Faiza Qureshi (Senior HR Professional)
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