Broad generalizations are great polling fodder. This poll asks ‘Do You Believe Women And Men Have Equal Career Opportunity?’ and as expected, a majority of folks sided with ‘No’. However, a great number of people also responded ‘Yes’. That gave me reason to pause. You see, not as many people voted ‘No’ as I expected. Which must mean there is a lack of awareness out there.
It’s time to have that conversation with your whole team (or start with just a few trusted colleagues) and look at how you may be pulling opportunity out from under the feet of a select few. Inadvertently, of course. If you were intentionally biased against women (or men, or any demographic of your disliking) you wouldn’t be seeking answers to your problems here. You should ask yourself questions like:
Are we deliberately inclusive about the events we host?
Are we deliberately inclusive about the language that we use?
Do we consider the differences in strategic approach, learning styles, and comfort levels of our team?
In light of these differences, how do we create a welcoming culture and attract potential rockstars?
Do we communicate why we’ve chosen to make intentionally inclusive decisions?
Most often, the culprit of a lack of opportunity is the culture. I repeatedly hear assurances from management that there is zero tolerance for discrimination and everyone here is given equal opportunity. It’s more nuanced than legal issues. Your team isn’t as culturally aware as you envision them to be and they aren’t hearing this important message from you.