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Can Scrum Boost Gender Diversity at Work?

In a Scrum meeting, a Scrum Master ensures everyone has a voice, irrespective of gender, race, experience, or designation. To bring in gender equality, the Equal Rights Amendment Act was introduced to Congress in 1923, which passed in 1972. Equal pay for equal work was introduced in 1944 but did not pass till 1963. Yet the pay differences between genders range from 5% to 22%. Sadly, the U.S. is the only signatory of the 1981 Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women that failed. The problem is, no amount of laws can help resolve gender inequality until people put some efforts into it. In this article at Scrum Inc., Avi Schneier discusses how Scrum can boost gender diversity at work.

Scrum and Gender Diversity

In Scrum, everyone is assigned a role and transparency is the team key to its success. This is not possible without everyone playing their roles well. As per the 2017 Global Gender Gap Report, the U.S. has stagnated in the 49th position out of 144 countries. It is time to buckle up to address this conundrum at work. Following are the ways Scrum can help boost gender diversity in organizations.

Equal Work Opportunities: Usually, teams work better when you assign clearly defined roles to the team members. Equal participation requires the Scrum team to provide equal opportunity. The author explains he has been instrumental in making every female member of his Scrum feel involved. Also, female students from the U.S., Japan, and Australia have informed how the Scrum classes made them feel equal. Because Scrum assures a voice, the percentage of female students in these classes have increased by 45% to 50%.

Equal Pay: The pay gap can have several reasons. Women ask for pay hikes less than men and social bias also plays a big role in it. Majority of the times female employees do not know how much their male colleagues are paid. As mentioned above, one of the Scrum principles is striving to keep things transparent. Influenced by that, Schneier’s company never hides employee salaries. Instead of creating negative feelings like jealousy, it has boosted creativity. If employees know how the high-performers earned better, they will strive to reach that level too.

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