What is gender diversity?

The Danish labour market is one of the most gender-divided in the world, which is why the conversation about diversity and gender is important, as it helps to support greater equality and equal opportunities for all.

Gender diversity is about the representation of people with different gender identities:

A person's gender identity is their own persistent internal and individual experience of both their gender (which may or may not correspond to the sex assigned at birth) and their body (which may involve changes to the body's appearance or function through medical, surgical or other treatments), as well as ways of expressing their gender (including dress, speech and gestures). Your own identity is also influenced by your understanding of gender and gender identities. For example, you may have a binary or non-binary understanding.

LGBT+ Denmark

From a Danish working life perspective, the conversation about gender diversity in the workplace hasn't gone much further than the relationship between the binary gender - men and women - in the workplace. Let's explore this further below:

However, gender binary equality can be difficult to relate to in a Danish context, as men and women have long been legally equal in Denmark. However, research shows time and time again that even though the genders are formally equal, in practice they are not. This is partly due to the fact that Denmark has a very gender-segregated labor market, which not only determines which work functions men and women most often hold, but also governs opportunities for advancement, mobility, pay differences and opportunities for upskilling.

Why care about gender diversity?

Gender diversity ensures sustainable development - and it pays off! Studies show that gender diversity (m/f) boosts companies' innovation, reputation, customer base and financial performance. Furthermore, efforts to increase gender diversity (m/f) in companies can support the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goal on gender equality(SDG 5).

The new EU directive from March 2022 will impose new requirements on Danish companies regarding gender diversity in management and on boards:
By 2026, listed companies must ensure that at least 40% of non-executive board positions or 33% of executive board positions are held by persons of the under-represented sex. Learn more about the EU Directive here.

Addressing gender diversity is a social, political, ethical, moral and economic responsibility for companies! Ensure inclusion of everyone in the workplace - regardless of gender identity.

4 tips to increase gender diversity in the workplace

Take the temperature of your working environment

There are (unfortunately) no quick-fixes when it comes to increasing gender diversity in the workplace. There are plenty of generic solutions, but to ensure sustainable and relevant change that can lead to increased gender diversity, solutions need to be context-specific and rooted in your work environment and organization.

With a temperature check that quantitatively and qualitatively (in terms of inclusion, processes and discrimination) maps current status and opportunities, you ensure relevant initiatives that resonate and ensure ownership. Read more here.

Review the recruitment process

Gender imbalance is partly due to unconscious bias in the recruitment process: you should consider re-examining your job postings and approach to recruitment. Consider language and gendered words in job postings. Examine the gender distribution of previous applicants depending on the field of study. Also, consider the gender balance of the candidates who move on. This will give you an insight into whether unconscious bias plays a role in the selection process.

Think about language and images in communication

Make sure your internal and externalcommunication is inclusive and gender neutral. Some words and phrases will appeal more to some people and vice versa. In addition to paying attention to the wording in your job postings, make sure you also think about the images you use on your website. It's important that diversity is represented. 

Implement small (but important) inclusion efforts

Create initiatives that can increase the wellbeing of minority individuals or groups in the workplace. It is the responsibility of the majority to include the minority and ensure that the company can continue to have a diverse workforce:

Here are three examples:
1. Create space to talk about and highlight (not neutralize) differences. This can be in the form of networking, knowledge sharing or informal initiatives.

2. Take a stand on the use of personal pronouns in a corporate setting.

3. Give employees the opportunity to learn more about themselves and how they, as colleagues, can improve the inclusion of others - e.g. through workshops in inclusive collegiality

Do you want to work with gender equality as a focus area in your workplace? Contact us here.

Portrait of Nikoline on a black background. She is facing the camera straight on and wearing a denim high-neck dress and silver hoop earrings.

Nikoline Nybo

BA Anthropology and Chaos Pilot.

Experience in cultural analysis and anthropological methodology, project management and process design, organizational development and facilitation.

Portrait of Louise Marie on a black background. She is facing the camera straight on and wearing a red v-neck jumpsuit.

Louise Marie Genefke

Cand. mag. Marketing & Communication, MA Management and External Lecturer AU.

Experience with management, talent and organizational development, facilitation and Employer Branding.