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Mar 26, 2023
The Time magazine had coined the word “bropropriation” to mean the act of men taking credit for women’s ideas or work in the workplace, and it is a common phenomenon in many countries including India. A study conducted by Catalyst found that women in India are more likely to have their contributions ignored or dismissed, and that they are less likely to receive credit for their work.
Many senior female executives say bropropriation is a common experience for them. When there is increased attention on gender diversity and inclusion at workplaces, companies implementing policies must look at minimising this aspect for better inclusivity. To put a stop to bropropriation at senior levels, companies can take a number of steps to promote fairness, equality, and collaboration in the workplace.
Educate employees on the issue: Offer training sessions or workshops on the topic, which can help employees recognise and understand the behaviours that lead to bropropriation.
Foster a culture of inclusivity and collaboration: Senior leaders can model these behaviours by openly acknowledging and crediting the contributions of others. This can be through public recognition or a formal rewards system. When senior leaders set an example of inclusivity and collaboration, it can encourage others to do the same.
Promote gender diversity in the C-suite: Having more women in senior leadership positions can help reduce the likelihood of bropropriation. Women who hold positions of power are more likely to be seen as equals and have their contributions recognised and valued.
Create clear communication channels: Companies can encourage open and honest communication among colleagues by creating a culture that values feedback and discussion. This can be done through regular team meetings, performance reviews, and one-on-one conversations.
Implement accountability measures: This can be done through a formal grievance process or through anonymous reporting systems. Employees should get the confidence to report instances of bropropriation without fear of retaliation. Companies should also be prepared to take swift action when such instances are reported in order to ensure that the behaviour is stopped and that the affected employee is appropriately recognised.
By valuing and respecting the contributions of all employees, regardless of gender, organisations can create a more collaborative and productive workplace for everyone.