All The Things You Need to Know About Gender Inequality at Work

Written by Rossina Gitto, Founder @ The Humans of HR, September 2020

Today, September 18th 2020, is the first ever International Equal Pay Day declared by the United Nations (2020). It’s difficult to believe that we waited so long to declare this day as an important one, and that it really is that hard to understand that women need to be treated and paid equally in the working world.

How I became aware of gender inequality in the world of work

A few years ago, I was working as a Psychologist in Latin America, often times taking cases of women in contexts of extreme poverty. 99% of my cases involved unemployed, single mothers that were struggling with a diverse range of issues. Part of their grief came from feeling useless in this world, where people constantly let them think that they were good for nothing. It was almost impossible for them to get the lowest skilled jobs, and when they did manage to get them, childcare wasn’t accessible with the low salaries & long working hours that came with those jobs. Their lack of access to the world of work and childcare kept them and their children feeling trapped and wrapped up in a never-ending cycle of poverty. 

I always thought and still think: if women like myself who were given all the opportunities they need to succeed in life constantly feel the effects of gender inequality at work, imagine what these women – with all the odds against them – feel on a daily basis.

I have to admit that working in these contexts made me feel absolutely powerless. What could I possibly do to help them? My work during these sessions just wasn’t enough. In many ways, these experiences led me to gain an interest in the world of work, in Labour Psychology, in Human Resources, and ultimately in the negative relation between HR management and gender inequality.

What’s going on, Human Resources?

Although many might argue that HR does not make the final decisions when hiring employees and coming up with benefits for workers, nowadays HR professionals definitely are the first to get their hands on potential candidate’s information. I believe it’s safe to say that not all recruiters were educated equally – and that unfortunately, many still hold judgements that keep women from stepping into workplaces, no matter their educational level or skill set.

As an HR professional myself, I believe these attitudes and behaviours that my colleagues sometimes display are completely inadequate. Isn’t it about time we started standing up for others? If we don’t, we’re not even standing up for ourselves in a female-dominated field.

All the things you need to know about Gender Inequality at work

Moving on to a global overview, the UN entity dedicated to gender equality and female empowerment, UN Women (2017), has put together a great interactive webpage where people can educate themselves on different facts about women in the working world.

Here are some of the UN’s infographics:

Figures 1-12. UN Women Infographics 2017.
Taken from UN Women Webpage by the United Nations, 2020.


What can be done?

We can’t ask too much from governments and organizational leaders that seem to fail to understand how gender inequality affects both workplaces and societies as a whole.

But female-dominated HR Departments and HR professionals, I’ve got good news for you: you have always had the power to drive change when it comes to gender inequality. Let’s work on educating ourselves on the topic, let’s speak up when we can, and let’s start advocating for equal opportunities & equal pay.


The Humans of HR are already working on it.
Will you join us?


About The Author
About The Author

Rossina Gitto is the Founder of The Humans of HR. She is a Behavioural Scientist that is specialized in Labour Psychology and holds a Master’s Degree in International Human Resources Management from the University of Paris II Panthéon-Assas. Having a vast experience abroad in 6 countries, she is passionate about the global perspective of people management. She contributes content on a wide range of topics including Leadership Development, Change Management, International Mobility and Workplace Wellbeing.


*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of The Humans of HR.


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The Humans of HR is an Educational Media Company that is on a mission to humanize the world of work. We aspire to be recognized as a high quality International HR & Business learning outlet for a diverse body of professionals from all over the world. Our Magazine currently reaches readers in over 100 countries.

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Your contribution is highly appreciated.

The Humans of HR is a Digital Social Enterprise that is on a mission to humanize the world of work. We aspire to be recognized as a high quality International HR & Business media outlet for a diverse body of professionals from all over the world. Our Magazine currently reaches readers in over 80 counties.

We believe everyone is entitled to have access to professional content that is backed up by relevant sources, as well as the work of the global scientific community, no matter where they come from. That is the reason why we started writing, and also why we will continue to do so. In order to keep growing and keep our content open to our global audience, we would like for you to consider supporting our work.

Your contribution is highly appreciated.

The Humans of HR is a Digital Social Enterprise that is on a mission to humanize the world of work. We aspire to be recognized as a high quality International HR & Business media outlet for a diverse body of professionals from all over the world. Our Magazine currently reaches readers in over 80 counties.

We believe everyone is entitled to have access to professional content that is backed up by relevant sources, as well as the work of the global scientific community, no matter where they come from. That is the reason why we started writing, and also why we will continue to do so. In order to keep growing and keep our content open to our global audience, we would like for you to consider supporting our work.

Your contribution is highly appreciated.

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References


United Nations. (2020). “International Equal Pay Day.” United Nations, https://www.un.org/en/observances/equal-pay-day. Accessed 17 Sept. 2020.

UN Women. (2017). Women in the Changing World of Work – Facts You Should Know. https://interactive.unwomen.org/multimedia/infographic/changingworldofwork/en/index.html. Accessed 18 Sept. 2020.

2 thoughts on “All The Things You Need to Know About Gender Inequality at Work

  1. Indeed, a much needed article! HR professionals do have the power to make a difference in this area and I hope that this power would be put to good use to make the workplace a a better place for women across the world.

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