The issue with gender equality in workforces today is primarily the result of what researchers call ‘second- generation bias’. It is not overt or malicious, but it is why men don’t feel they are being biased, and why women may not feel explicitly or deliberately disadvantaged ... even if both are true on some level.
Imagine you are suffering from a lack of visibility at work. Your boss tells you that you need to let people know the value you are adding. You need to “raise your profile and build a brand” with other stakeholders. The problem is, in order to do that, you need to draw attention to the good work you are doing. And this makes you feel icky. No one likes a braggart, and you don't like to boast. Tough situation. And you are not alone.
Playing favourites may not be your intention, but with perception steering the ship, it could be the reality. As leaders, we need to make a conscious effort to include all our people. We need to spend time equally, engage with those we may not get along with, and ensure all our people feel heard, valued and included. It’s easy enough to do, once we realise we need to do it.
Why won't they step up?
What am I paying them for?
Great leaders build engagement. Engagement in meetings requires contribution and involvement. Many leaders I work with complain of a lack of engagement from their team members during meetings, despite their best efforts. This is not always about their leadership or their teams’ engagement; often there are other factors at play.