Whether we like or not, today’s business environment still makes women feel uncomfortable in the office. Men still dominate lots of industries, even though women have proven to be just as capable as them. From whatever reason, some men don’t have respect for female employees. That’s mostly because women are a lot more sensitive than their male co-workers. They become attached, and often times their emotions get the best of them.

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What does hair and makeup have to do with the way women behave at work? Apparently, looking too sexy may send mixed signals. Office attire is yet another controversial topic that business owners and CEOs avoid talking about.

How does sexism at work manifests?

A lot of people don’t realize how tenacious, complicated, and subtle sexism can be in the office. Obvious sexual harassment happens more often than we can imagine, even though most women deal with it indirectly. Men assume that women should tolerate remarks of a sexual nature – even being called “baby doll” and “sweetheart” at the office is a form of mild sexual harassment. Comments about the way they look, walk or behave may severely affect the company balance.

What’s surprising is that male peers don’t realize that such comments affect a women’s self-esteem and confidence. Women are by no means sexual objects, or housewives who should be at home cleaning and cooking all day. But some men don’t seem to understand that.

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How efficient are sexual harassment policies in a company?

Coping with sexism is difficult, especially when the remarks made towards women are barely noticeable. Sexual harassment policies are put in place in most companies today. And yet, it’s tough for women to cope with everyday remarks that are way too subtle.

Female workers are well-aware that they can’t lash out without bothering their male co-workers, so most of them choose to remain quiet when sexual remarks are made. Also, women fear that complaining to their supervisor could get them fired, so they choose to overlook inappropriate remarks that are often relate to the way they dress.

Improving the workplace & lowering sexism in the office

It can be tough to lower sexism in the office, regardless of its form. However, ignoring your female workers and allowing such behavior may affect your company’s bottom line. When women don’t feel comfortable at work, their enthusiasm to do their job decreases. Some may even quit without letting you know why they did it.

The best thing that you can do is communicate with your employees. Set up monthly meetings with the women in your office, and talk about it. Assure them that they’re safe, and that nothing will happen if they say they’ve noticed that male peers act inappropriately. Don’t address this issue in front of everyone, and meet with male employees too. Discuss the matter and advise them to adopt a professional attitude.

Preventing conflicts from disrupting the company productivity

Women are incredibly empathic. Sadly, they’re also extremely sensitive and they can’t always detach themselves from issues that affect them directly. Preventing conflicts from doing irreparable damage to the company productivity should be your top priority. Have a dress code in the office, and advice women workers to avoid striking makeup and clothes that are too revealing.

Encourage women to express their feminine side in a more discreet and professional manner. Nude makeup is the best. Women are often tempted to put a lot of makeup on their faces to hide imperfections. However, a qualitative concealer for rosacea is a lot better than a ton of foundation and striking eyeshadow. Less is more, especially since they’ll be spending more than 8 hours in the office.

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Businesses should treat men and women equally if they want employees to work together properly. Sexism disrupts the connection between co-workers. Women will start feeling uncomfortable, and their drive to do their jobs will decrease. In the long-term, the whole company dynamic will be ruined. Communicate with your people and have them adopt a professional attitude. Men should keep their comments to themselves, and women should dress the part at work. The more you dedicate to your workers the more chances you have for them to collaborate in harmony.