Capping off its celebration of National Women’s Month last March, Vision Properties Development Corporation held a webinar entitled Kabalikat para sa Kababaihan: How to promote workplace gender inclusivity in a traditionally male-dominated industry, last March 30, 2022.
By choosing to open up their laptops and listen in on the webinar, Vision’s #Kabalikat proved that they have chosen to open their minds to infinite possibilities of an equal world. Led by its Guest Speaker, Ms. Marby Villaceran, Deputy Director for Research and Publication of the UP Center for Women's and Gender Studies.
Based on the talk, here are some of the common misconceptions when it comes to women in construction:
1. Gender Bias
Gender discrimination is a common occurrence in the workplace, particularly in male-dominated environments.
High bar, negative perception, and inadequate support
Female employees are subjected to a higher standard than male employees. Women's performance is scrutinized more closely by evaluators than men's. Also, there is a belief that girls are weak and lack the abilities to lead, which is why female employees in the organization receive minimal training.
Glass Ceilings, Escalators, and Leadership Styles
Women are not given the same opportunities to lead as men because girls lack the aggressive and dominant characteristics that they believe are necessary for a leader. There is also a glass ceiling that prevents female employees from advancing in the company. While removing the glass ceiling, we must also be aware of the escalator, which means that men in a feminized workplace rise through the ranks due to their gender.
2. Motherhood Myths
Even in the twenty-first century, many industries still treat women as minorities, particularly single mothers, who are expected to balance taking care of the house and being a mother while maintaining their career, and there is always a doubt about their ability to focus on their work when they are about to be promoted. The social norm that women are only supposed to take care of the house and men are expected to provide for the family has an impact on both genders.
3. Gender Pay Gap and Underrepresentation
Although there has been significant progress in terms of the pay gap between men and women in recent years, there are still some industries, particularly male-dominated industries, where female employees are paid less because of the belief that girls can only do light work. As a result, women make up a small percentage of the workforce in the business.
In addition to distinguishing gender and sex in the first part of this webinar, the speaker goes on to discuss the distinction between diversity, which means recruiting people from minority groups, and inclusivity, which means allowing people to be their genuine selves and accomplish their full potential. Diversity and inclusion will produce better results in the organization, such as a larger pool of talents and ideas, improved performance, and a better environment, all of which will result in better value for clients. To develop a harmonious relationship among employees, every organization should practice gender diversity and inclusivity.
As we see more diverse representation in the construction workforce, revolutionary change lies in women supporting and mentoring women. This webinar aimed to reinforce Vision’s efforts in gender inclusivity and women empowerment - providing a venue to discuss and address issues that women continue to face so empowerment can be fully achieved and to break down gender bias in the industry.
The overall turnout of the event goes to show that Vision’s employees are “Kabalikat para sa Kababaihan”. Vision and its management wholeheartedly support gender diversity and inclusivity in its organization.