Approaching conversations about gender disparities can be difficult in the workplace, particularly in inclusive settings.
iDE’s global teams have approached these conversations using innovative approaches meant to engage both male and female employees while encouraging respectful discourses. For example, the Cambodia team has hosted several cinema nights where movies, such as Brokeback Mountain, are viewed and followed by a guided discussion on social issues such as gender inequalities, sexuality, and more. This approach is taken up in tandem with more traditional training programs which help expand the knowledge of all staff around topics of gender and social inclusion.
Similarly, iDE’s Ethiopia team has incorporated a discussion into their existing staff meetings which centers around a thought-provoking article on an aspect of gender inequality. Conversations have included topics like how informal labor is divided in the home, ways that women are pressured to leave the workforce and microaggressions that pervade some office cultures and make it difficult for women to progress their careers.
The Bangladesh team has incorporated informal brown bag discussions where they invite female leaders from the community to come and give a brief presentation on an aspect of gender equality and employees can ask questions of the expert. The informal nature of the gatherings allows workers to feel at ease and ask questions without feeling judged or worried about saying the wrong thing and has led to several mentor relationships between female workers and expert speakers.
Learn more about solutions that aim to engage workers in difficult conversations and transform behaviors and attitudes around gender equality issues here: