Engaging the conversation about gender equality in the workplace

Women have made great strides in the workplace, but inequality persists.  Before individuals can support efforts to right an inequality, they must first recognise that the inequality exists.

Inequality arises from Gender stereotypes which are hard to break and, like it or not, we are all prone to engaging in stereotyping at one time or another.

Having meaningful conversations about gender, race, and ethnicity in the workplace—communicating across differences—is important.

To do so successfully, we need to acknowledge—and work through—roadblocks (i.e., beliefs, attitudes, or experiences) that can stifle progress. Learning how to surmount these obstacles takes practice, attention, and most importantly, intention.

Men have a critical role to play in diversity and inclusion efforts, especially initiatives to eliminate gender bias. Yet too often men are an untapped resource in such gender initiatives. This problem, like most worth solving, is multi-faceted and complex.

Higher education brings a unique perspective on the future workforce and thought leaders eager to discover solutions. To create lasting change, schools around Papua New Guinea should strive for better arrangement to include the understanding of inequality and the issues PNG and the world face.

Many research and consulting organizations not only work with schools on issues preventing women from rising through the ranks, but offer recognition to companies making strides to increase women in leadership and improve workforce diversity. A clear example; IBBM is giving 50 percent of tuition fees for any female that wants to enrol at their institution.

The concern to everyone is will we go another 40 years without recognizing the full potential of women in the work place. Even worse, women may continue to choose different career paths, with that is there still going to be the stereotype with the individual job itself, for example only male are clans leaders and can be prime minister as opposed to a women.

Industry and higher education must work together to grow pipelines of prospective students, create positive environments for women, form a diverse workforce and empower women – and men – with the knowledge and confidence needed to advance careers. Pay it forward. Every day is a chance to raise the bar, Let us not rest behind established programs and mere talk. Let us work together to create lasting change.

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Daphne Rasehei

Daphne Rasehei

is a member of EMTV Online, as well as a researcher for Women’s World. She recently graduated from the University of Papua New Guinea with a major in Strategic Management and is looking forwarding to expanding her knowledge of the Media Industry.