Women make up half the world population and 49% of the global labor force participation, yet they continue to be underrepresented, underpaid, discriminated against in the workforce. Given these statistics, you might be considering what you can do to attract, promote, elevate, and most importantly retain female talent in your organization.
What can companies do to assure women get what is rightfully deserved in their work environment?
1. Flexible and remote work options are no longer “nice to haves,” they are “must haves.” The benefits of flexible and remote work have been proven throughout the course of the pandemic — increased employee productivity and decreased company spending, to name a few. Letting your employees set their own schedules will motivate them to finish their work on time, on their terms that allow them to work hours that make sense for their lives outside of work. Therefore the work done will be much more effective and concise.
2. Women want equal status and pay but also equality in possibilities & and decision making opportunities. Women want parity; to initiate, lead and influence purely because they know they are equally capable for that role. Since it’s clear that women are no less capable than men to prosper in their roles, this disparity comes down to learned behavior — essentially, the way that individuals are selected for promotion or hire.
3. Women want employers to take a stand on important issues like gender and racial equality & diversity. It’s not enough to just have women talent in the company and a few female leaders. Women want to see representation across all levels of the company, they want to see other individuals who look like them reflected in the company they work for. Exploring the impact of diversity on perspectives, assumptions, and approaches, and identifying ways to enhance the contribution of all is diversity. The authenticity principle is rooted in the concept that one who consistently chooses to know, embrace, and be who they are, have the power to shift their individual lives and our collective culture.
4. Women want formal and informal professional development opportunities to help them prepare for a raise and/or promotion. Whether the guidance is directly related to advancing in their career or it covers work-life balance, mental health management, women are looking for ways to prioritize and advance their careers and will continue to look for employers that offer opportunities to support them in their growth. Mentorship, especially from other women, is an important part of professional and career development. Workplace gender discrepancies are a problem women did not create, but we can actively contribute to finding solutions. The experience and wisdom a mentor has to offer works to everyone’s empowerment. Everyone plays an important role in creating the matrix that’s the core base of company culture.
There have been signs of the glass ceiling cracking for a while now. After a year that negatively impacted women, and especially women of color, we need to now more than ever commit to taking action on these points and anything else that can help shatter that ceiling finally and forever. This upcoming year and all the others after that, are well positioned to be ones of growth and positive change that have the potential to leave us with a more impartial workforce than ever before. There’s a long road ahead but let’s create the change that’s so close to our reach.
It’s up to the leaders within the organization to act with their values consistently and show that women have an equal spot in their workplace. When you think about your organization, how much gender equality do you see?