Friday, March 10, 2006

Subtle Gender Bias at the workplace

The Gender Bias in the workplace was more prominent some years back and most of us are mistaken that its very less now. Yes things are not happening as you can see it clearly but its there. There is a subtle gender bias. Some of the things male colleagues practise maybe unconciously.

If a woman plans to get married or start a family, its assumed that she is not willing to continue as she was doing before. That she would not be able to perform better. Also the male bosses base decisions and opinions based on past experiences where they have seen women slowing down in their career as their responsiblities at home increase. They however fail to understand that all women may not be in the same frame of mind. Some have support systems in place and they can actually work as good as a male can. Also if a man has family issues to attend to he is allowed to relax a bit but if a woman has issues her career is downhill.

Its also observed that men who are married to a houswife dont have any understanding and are very biased towards the women in the workplace. They dont believe the women are in par with them and can perform as well.

There is this guy in our group who was all excited to comment, he is by the way mentored by the Babu(refer my earlier post on Babu) so I know where the thought process is coming from. He says "Oh you women get kids and now cannot contribute anything to work so come to this kind of role." He was referring to another lady in the group who was doing a role which men feel isnt worthwhile and told things which were quite demeaning.

Another colleague of mine tells me, how long can you work: once your kid starts going to school you need to leave. He says your work career cant be too long. Well you will not be surprised that his wife is a homemaker and why his thinking pattern is so. He is also supposedly a good friend and this all we get as encouragement to go on.

To end this post let me mention another incident in my workplace. There was this male colleague who used to rush home around 4:30pm. One day another male colleague mentions: "You know he is doing his responsibilities as a father and has to go home early to take care of his child". What immediately crossed my mind was if it was a woman, she would be told that now she cant take so many responsiblties in the workplace and cannot continue with the same vigor if she needs to contribute at home too.....these are the ways of the male world :-)

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