At the current rate of change, the workplace will not see gender parity until the year 2095. And that’s according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report, so they know what they’re talking about.
As we scramble to hasten that rate of change (and we should be scrambling), what can we do at a grassroots level to empower women and level the playing field? We don’t all hold pursestrings tied to big initiatives that can affect immediate change, but we do all have choices in our everyday workplace interactions.
Language has power—and even casual office chit-chat can reinforce biased behavior amongst employees. While your organization may be telling women one thing— to be more confident, take more risks, negotiate harder—do all the messages really add up?
Read the following four words commonly used in the workplace and ask yourself when the last time you heard them used was. Or, more telling, when was the last time you heard them used to describe a man?