What Companies Need to Do to Improve Working Conditions for Women
Ellen Kossek is one of America’s leading social scientists, with an extensive career examining employment practices to advance gender equality and diversity. Her upcoming book,创建性别包容性组织：研究和实践的课程，是来自全国领先的研究人员和从业者的一系列文章的集合，在工作场所的性别纳入中。
We sat down with Kossek to discuss gender inclusion in the workplace.
边缘：Women constitute only 4.6% of CEO positions, and that number is even less among Fortune 500 companies. What should companies be doing to foster female leadership?
Companies should also look at what happens to men and women in their careers at about 6 or 7 years in. Many companies are finding that they’re hiring men and women at equal numbers at entry level, and then something happens at about 6 or 7 years in where women are leaving. It could be partly due to lack of policies and flexibility for families, as well as a chilly climate that’s not supportive of listening to women.
边缘：Your book goes into detail about discrimination going beyond direct forms of discrimination to include day-to-day inherent biases. How are you seeing these inherent biases currently manifesting in organizations?
kossek：In very subtle ways. Companies are smart enough to get rid of overt discrimination. Where it’s playing out is in a number of areas. One is in performance appraisal. A Stanford University study found that women were getting better performance ratings than men, but it wasn’t translating over into higher pay. And in some of those performance appraisals, women were getting feedback on personality and style, and less on the technical job requirements.
A second way is the narratives being told about what makes a good leader. When reviews are being held for high-potential employees, characteristics that aren’t often identified in talented women are often talked up. Startup cultures, in particular, will talk about rock stars, and that’s not always equated with a feminine image.
边缘：We’ve seen many companies set up employee resource groups (ERGs) to foster greater diversity, on both gender and racial bases. What is your assessment of ERGs? Are they enough?
They have a sponsor at a higher level that’s integrated into the ERG so the issues can be linked to senior management. Some companies keep membership open to anyone so it’s not just viewed as an intra-group rivalry, but so anyone who’s supportive of those issues can participate. The best companies link these identity groups to workforce transformation. So it’s not just diversity and inclusion as a separate bucket in these ERGs, but you use them to have conversations. I know a utility company in Nebraska that’s very successful, where the CEO will have open forums to talk about where the business is going.
kossek：首先，这必须从领导和人力资源开始，为强大的交叉性别或同性指导提供沟通。鼓励指导，也可以保护员工有一些规则。例如，如果您正在开展商务旅行，也许你带第三个人。也许你不会作为一对出去吃饭，但你有别人加入。公司说，“哦，#metoo运动，我们不能导致” - 这是一个警察局;您只需要提出安全规则，并确保对话正在保护领导和Protégés的权利。
Some people would say women of color helped start the feminist movement because they were always working and having children. Sometimes, people who are of other nationalities are immigrants or refugees and bring to work the deep experience of resilience.
Looking at social identities across race and ethnicity is really important to making your company tap into the workforce of tomorrow. In states like Texas, racial minorities are the majority, and this is part of your business adapting to the new workforce.
边缘：You speak of the need for companies to ensure “psychological safety” in order for diverse teams to thrive. What do you mean by that?
Some minorities face the need for代码切换, or adjusting their speech based on who they’re talking to. We want people to be professional, but we also want them to be their true selves. Sometimes in the corporate world, we value a culture of homogeneity. We need to support different ways of expression and make it safe for people at lower-levels of the firm, who are more likely to be diverse, to say what’s on their minds.
kossek：最简洁的答案是不。许多公司提供不同类型的灵活策略，从Flextime到远程工作。但女性仍然比男人更多的政策。如果您使用它是为了家庭原因而使用它，它会皱起眉头 - 你看起来不是职业生涯。
研究表明,尽管年轻男性性别e值quality more, women are still doing more of the domestic tasks. What I would like to see is companies rewarding more time off for family needs. Careers are not a sprint, but a marathon, and you’re going to lose talent if you don’t allow people to have their work lives fit well with their personal lives.
边缘：Pew Research recently revealed that妇女越来越受雇在需要社会，批判性思维和分析技能的工作中，这导致了工资差距的缩小。为什么我们在这些角色中看到更多女性的趋势？
kossek：One trend might simply be that women are getting the majority of college degrees. There will be a talent shortage if we aren’t using equal parity in hiring women.
So in some ways, it’s a good thing, and the talent has always been there.
边缘：If you’re speaking to a CEO who says they want to change a culture of masculinity in their company, what would you say to them?
kossek：One thing to do would be to cluster-hire women. That way, they’re not viewed as the only one. This is a way to start changing culture. If women are tokens, it’s not going to shift the culture. It takes a long time for organizational culture to shift, and it starts with the top as well. Maybe you hire from other companies that are more gender-balanced because you don’t want to wait for organizational learning to occur in 20 years. You have to change who’s in your company to get that balance. Representation matters.
边缘：Automation is going to affect certain jobs dominated by women. Office workers and administrative assistants, for example, have been identified as being at high-risk of automation, while there may be growth in other areas of the industry. How can companies take the lead in managing the inevitable transfer of skills and mitigate against the particularly negative impacts on women in high-risk automation jobs?
kossek：What we need to do is ensure everyone, not just women, is engaged in lifelong learning. As you see, these jobs become automated, give a lot of support and flexibility for employees to go back to school or do on-the-job training. Don’t wait until things are automated and say, “sorry, you don’t have a job anymore.” Start giving incentives.
Companies should be anticipating what the new jobs are going to be with automation and what skills are going to be needed. Hiring from those within who are willing to retrain is a smart move and will save money because they already know the culture of the company.