Gender Equality in Research Articles
By: Bazal Morani Via www.womensempowhermentblogs.com
I currently started my MBA, and for the first time I realized that since I was a kid, so many of the research articles I read, either discount the existence of women in the subject by using gender-specific languages such as "him, he, himself, his, etc." or subject women to stereotypical roles such as teachers or nurses.
In a time where women are once again forced to fight for their rights and equality, research material should be more considerate, and people should revise their work to be more appropriate. So to all the people out there writing research papers for classes, blogs, news articles, magazine articles, etc. here are a few ways you can make your work more mindful of gender.
1. Either use general or gender inclusive language.
For general language, you can use terms like "they, them, themselves, etc." to avoid excluding specific groups of people. Or you could use gender inclusive language like "he/she , himself/ herself, etc." use both or neither, but don't chose one over the other.
I was reading an article about leadership styles for one of my classes, and I noticed that I had a hard time connecting with the work, because the consistent use of gender specific language for men had me disorienting myself to the theory, because I felt it was implying that it doesn't apply to women, when in reality, it was a general theory that applies to everyone. For the record, yes that is what triggered me to write this post.
2. Break gender stereotypes in case studies.
Subjecting either gender to stereotypical roles discourages younger generations to pursue their dreams if they don't fit the norm, and that is neither ethical, nor acceptable. So change the script! For case studies that are based on stereotypical female roles, use male examples (i.e. male teachers, male nurses, etc.) and for stereotypical male roles use female examples (i.e. female scientist, cyber security analyst, IT specialists, etc.). Remember your audience, and be aware of the bias you represent in your language.
I realize that I don't have a lot of examples of stereotyped careers as I grew up in a house where my parents taught me I could be whatever I wanted, and only was exposed to this during the interview mentioned in my introduction post. If you have stories please share them in the comments!
3. Watch your sources!
Use both male and female sources on subjects. Make sure you have a good mix of genders and races represented in your resources when doing your research. Even if that area of study has men being the main representation on the topic, go the extra mile to find female representations in that field of study, and make it a point to mention them in your work.
For example, if your topic is based on feedback, don't just focus on the Johari window; use articles from Shana Lebowitz as references as well. Find articles from other females on the subject, and incorporate their research into your work as well.
4. Watch 'Mr. Iglesias' on Netflix!
I came across this show after finally caving to Netflix's constant insistence that I needed to watch this show. Now I generally love inspirational revolutionary concepts, but I tend to get worked up by the amount of struggle needed to accomplish basic rights for minorities. However, this show provides comic relief for very important topics, which makes for great learning and great entertainment. While it doesn't make light of the topics, it does cool you down when you feel like you're about to give up hope on society.
Spoiler Alert: You will HATE Carlos... Sorry, but I had to say that! Ugh! Why do people like that exist? If you do end up watching the show, let me know what you thought of it and the topics it covers, and what you think about Carlos. Just be kind to others and start off with "Spoiler Alert:" so people know not to read it if they don't want to ruin an episode or the show itself till they watch it themselves.