Gender inequality based on gender bias is found in varying degrees in most societies around the world, and the United States is no exception. As an individualist culture, North Americans believe that people should be free to pursue whatever family and career responsibilities they desire but enculturation and stereotyping combine to limit the ability of girls and boys and women and men alike to imagine less traditional possibilities.
As we learned in earlier chapters, biased attributions lead to negative stereotyping and discrimination but being aware of your personal biases, as well as situations or contexts where you experience bias helps reduce cultural. It is important to remember that biases are not permanent and can be shaped and changed to limit their impact on our thoughts and behaviors (Dasgupta, 2013). In addition to self-awareness, demonstrating empathy (understanding and sharing the feelings of someone else) and taking a culturally relativist perspective is another way to reduce gender bias. When we consider the experiences of people who are different from us, we are less likely to make negative and hasty judgments. Challenging and correcting gender stereotypes in everyday activities is another way that we can reduce gender bias as individuals.
To further reduce gender inequality at a systemic or global level cultures should work to reduce infant and mother mortality, close gaps in health care and education among girls and increase employment opportunities and living wages for men and women (World Economic Forum, 2019). Increased enforcement of existing laws against gender-based employment discrimination and against sexual harassment will also reduce gender and sexuality-based inequality in the workplace. Globalization and cultural transmission has facilitated improvements in gender inequality but more can be done to challenge traditional possibilities and increase the opportunities for both females and males.