There is no employee favoritism in the workplace nor is there a problem with sexism. That is what most employers and management staff will expect employees to believe, but with multiple mega-million dollar lawsuits against major corporations for sexism, a version of employee favoritism, is there really any doubt that this practice is alive and well in corporate America?
There are many reasons why employers or management staff plays favorites, or at least that is what they want workers to believe. Maybe you have admittedly chosen a specific employee for a task because “they always do it right” or chosen a man to perform a task involving heavy lifting because “they are stronger than many female employees”. These ideas may seem harmless, but to the employees being left out of the equation, they are a clear indication of employee favoritism and / or sexism. Ask yourself these simple questions to prove once and for all whether you are playing favorites or working a sexist management style.
Do you choose only men for heavy lifting or labor intensive tasks? Employee favoritism or sexism in the workplace is not solely a man’s problem. Female managers will divvy out tasks based on sex just as much as male managers. If you have ever chosen an employee based on sex because a task seemed better suited for that gender, you are guilty of sexism.
Do you assign specific gender employees to gender-specific areas? If your business has multiple areas like beauty, cosmetics, and sporting goods – take a look around for sexism practices. If only men are working in areas like sporting goods and automotive and only women are working in beauty and cosmetics – there is sexism going on in the workplace.
Do you use sexist remarks with female and male employees? The ever popular sexist remarks are still alive and well in the workplace. Many managers address female employees on a personal basis after having worked with them for many years, but this does not take the sexism out of the remark. Calling a female employee “honey”, “darling” or “sweetie” may feel like a term of endearment, but they are sexist remarks and can be used against a manager at any given time.
The same can be said for male employees. Female managers are just as susceptible to addressing well-known workers with cute, pet names, but this is a business and not a social club and all names should be formal.
There is no place for sexism in the workplace, yet it is all around us. Many of us have heard examples of sexism in major retail stores when an announcement is made for help. “We need a male employee to the front of the store for a heavy lift.” Is this happening in your workplace?