What is Gender Expression
Gender expression is a term that refers to the outward display of gender, which can include behaviors, activities, dress, mannerisms, speech patterns, hairstyles and more.
It is important to be aware of gender expression because it has an impact on how individuals are perceived in the workplace by their colleagues and supervisors.
Gender expression encompasses a broad range of behaviors and attitudes that people may present to others.
While gender identity is an individual’s internal sense of self (and not necessarily related to sex at birth), gender expression is how people present themselves in public.
This includes what they wear, how they talk, their body language, their physical appearance and other mannerisms.
The Importance of Gender Expression in the Workplace
Conventionally, it’s been stated that gender expressions can be categorized as either masculine or feminine. However, many recognize that some people don’t fit into either category or may express both genders simultaneously.
In addition to the two typically recognized gender identities (male or female), there are those who identify as nonbinary or transgender with a gender identity that is different from the one assigned at birth.
Gender expression often differs from the sex assigned at birth and can encompass a wide range of expressions and identities.
For example, some people may identify as non-binary or transgender while others may identify as cisgender (i.e., someone whose gender identity matches their sex assigned at birth).
Additionally, some people may choose to express their gender in ways that do not conform to traditional ideas about male/female roles or behaviors.
In recent years, workplaces have become increasingly diverse and inclusive when it comes to gender expression. As such, employers should strive to create an environment where individuals feel comfortable expressing themselves authentically without fear of judgment or discrimination.
It is important for employers to understand that although someone may present themselves differently than what society typically associates with their gender identity—for example a man wearing makeup—it does not mean that person identifies as anything other than male.
It simply means this individual expresses their masculinity differently than most men do. Therefore, employers must ensure that any policies related to attire and conduct in the workplace reflect this diversity by being inclusive of all forms of gender expression rather than only traditional forms.
Why Gender Expression Matters
Gender expression matters because it's an important part of who we are as individuals. Everyone should feel comfortable expressing themselves in whatever way feels natural and authentic for them without fear of judgement or discrimination from others.
This is especially true in the workplace where a diverse workforce should be celebrated and respected for who they are and how they choose to express themselves.
The Benefits of Promoting Gender Expression
Now, let’s explore how gender expression manifests itself in the workplace and the many benefits businesses can reap from embracing it.
Providing a Safe Space
The most important factor in creating a safe space for gender expression is having clear policies in place to protect everyone’s rights.
Companies should have guidelines that clearly explain expectations for acceptable behavior related to gender expression and also outline potential consequences for violating these expectations.
In addition to policy-level protections, companies should also take proactive steps to ensure that all employees are aware of their rights and have access to resources if they ever experience discrimination or harassment.
Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Space
Allowing gender expression in the workplace is an important step towards creating an inclusive culture where everyone feels respected, valued, and accepted regardless of their identity or personal beliefs.
When employers create a space where people can be open about themselves without fear of judgment or retribution, it helps foster a sense of trust between managers and staff members that encourages collaboration and increases morale overall.
Employees who feel supported are more likely to be engaged with their work and contribute positively to team dynamics.
Improved Productivity and Profitability
Gender expression has been linked to increased productivity levels in the workplace as well as higher profits for companies that embrace diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Studies have shown that when employers create workplaces that prioritize acceptance over uniformity, employees’ individual creativity is unleashed, leading to increased innovation and greater success overall.
Furthermore, by allowing employees to express themselves freely at work, businesses can create a more welcoming atmosphere where people feel less inhibited about taking risks—which can ultimately lead to higher profits for the company as well as improved job satisfaction for its workers.
Use inclusio to Promote Gender Expression
inclusio is a cloud-based platform that allows companies to garner real data and insights about how their diversity and inclusion programs are performing.
It has an in-built AI engine that allows companies to personalise content, gamify learning, and provide employees with a safe space that they can use to contribute to your organisation’s D&I initiatives.