How to empower women in your workplace
International Women’s Day is a great day to celebrate the accomplishments of women. Even better, it’s a great day to assess how your company can further improve its efforts in this area.
When you empower women in the workplace you allow them to have more control over their lives. Things like training and sponsorship opportunities, equality programs and grants, and even the opportunity for advancement into senior-level positions, will allow for the growth that is so essential.
Thankfully, many companies already have policies in place to encourage and empower women to find workplace success in a variety of ways. Here are a few ways that companies around the world are empowering their female workforce.
Find ways to amplify the female voice
Start by allowing women a heard voice at the table. If a woman has a great idea, champion her and make sure she gets the recognition, instead of allowing someone else to take the credit. Provide public speaking opportunities for female employees both internally and externally. Make sure there are networking opportunities in your company that allow everyone a chance to engage with senior management.
Invite inspirational women to speak at the office, and make sure that all employees can attend—not just women. Lastly, if your company is invited to participate in a panel, refuse to take part if there is no female representation on that panel. Empower women by giving them a voice and making sure they are heard.
Diversify leadership by promoting women
Make sure that high achieving women in your workplace are recognised equitably in your succession planning. Have active, ongoing conversations about advancement opportunities and set career goals during quarterly reviews. Encourage women to pursue opportunities at every level of the corporate ladder. Open up your talent pipeline equally to all employees.
By promoting women as much as men, you show they are valued, and you grow their skills, and thus their potential. According to a Catalyst study, Fortune 500 companies with three or more women on the board outperform other companies — with 53 percent more return on equity, 42 percent more return on sales, and 66 percent more return on invested capital.
Establish goals for improving gender diversity
Change doesn’t happen overnight. You need to start by seeing how you are currently operating in terms of gender diversity. Start by asking for suggestions on improvements your company can make – and then really listen to what your employees say. From the information collected, establish business goals for improving gender diversity in your workplace.
Once you have these goals in place, make sure the rest of the company is aware of your new initiatives. Educate, and make sure all goals are implemented consistently, across every line of business. You can’t just make goals and hope they work – you need to work at making your goals a reality.
Equal wages for equal work and experience
When it comes to equal pay, women still earn an average of 21 cents less on the dollar than their male counterparts. This gap is wider for women of colour. When women feel like they are being cheated out of fair pay, they don’t feel valued at work.
One simple way companies can remedy this is to conduct pay equity audits. Look for the discrepancies between pay rates and make sure that all employees with equal experience and in a similar role are paid the same as their counterparts – no matter an employee’s gender or race.
Fair parental leave policy
As a company, you are responsible for enabling mothers and fathers in finding a functional balance between their work life and their home life. An equitable parental leave policy will take the complexity out of women returning to work. A shared vision and respect for parents in your company will allow all employees to know they will be valued no matter what decisions they make, family-wise. Empower women and men at your company who decide to become parents.
Participate in out of work activities that benefit women
When you plan a fun corporate event that is outside of the office, make sure that it is an activity that is accessible for all employees. Take this a step further and plan activities that positively empower women at the same time. Consider booking an activity through an organisation that helps you bond as a team and empower women at the same time.
Visit.org is a great example of an organiation that can help you do just that as they have highly vetted, carefully curated social impact experiences in over 90 countries. This means you can choose an activity that specifically supports marginalized women.
Despite all the work companies are doing to empower women, there are still plenty of challenges. A report from PwC gives us a sense of the challenge’s women face in the workplace.
One of the most interesting findings is that 44% of women felt nervous about the impact of having a family on their careers. Less than half of the women surveyed believe their company is doing enough to combat gender inequality. 31% say they believe their gender, sexuality, or ethnic background could curb their career progress. While of the 27% of women who received promotions in the past two years, 63% had negotiated for it.
The good news is that when women do speak up, they get noticed and rewarded. When women are mentored and championed they quickly grow into leadership roles, and as a result their companies grow revenues year over year.
As companies we need to make sure we give women opportunities to be heard as well as advocating for them through all levels of business. Start today to ensure your policies and goals empower women in your workplace.
Looking to create gender diversity and empower women in your workplace? Work with us today!
It has never been easier to create gender diversity and empower women when hiring for your open roles than with the help of Energy Resourcing’s recruitment services. We partner with our clients to scope the requirements of their roles to determine core skills and qualifications that are needed. We have experienced recruiters and a strong reputation within the industry’s we hire for.
If you are looking to quickly fill open roles with qualified candidates connect with one of us today! Let’s work together to make your company the success it should be.