While gender equality movements and programs have gained momentum globally over the years, women are still denied equal opportunities because the system is rigged to favor males.
According to a United Nations study, full-time female employees earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. On the other hand, Pew Research argued that women make 16% less than men. There are many ways to deal with the issue of how businesses need to empower women. This blog will discuss how companies can produce more female leaders and play their part in creating a gender-just world.
The first step in empowering women is to hire women in diverse leadership roles based on equal opportunity rules. Organizations and industries that hire individuals should put in place adequate measures to ensure that women are included in the workforce in the same proportion as men.
An organization’s mixed workforce should be analyzed thoroughly to ensure gender equality. Inequities in the workplace may be discovered via an employee survey. Organizations should search for women with the necessary skills to fill any vacancy. When approaching the issue of how to empower women, they should be given the same consideration as men when being considered for higher positions.
Mentorship programs help employees to be competitive in their workplace. Nowadays, women-only mentorship programs are gaining popularity because they are exclusively designed to enable women to move forward in their careers. Small and medium-sized businesses may develop women’s mentorship programs to improve women’s leadership abilities.
- Five times as many employees with mentors are promoted as those without mentors.
- People who have mentors or who are mentors say that these relationships make them feel confident.
- A case study at Sun Microsystems showed that the retention rates of mentees (72%), as well as mentors (69%), were much more significant than those of non-participating personnel (49 percent ).
Encourage women’s active participation
One of the ways to empower women is by letting them have a seat at the table. In meetings, women are often disregarded when a gender-just policy is not in place. When you think about ways to empower women, ensure they have a place to express their opinions during meetings. Ask a question to one of the ladies in the room if no one else does.
Former Verizon CIO Judith Spitz stated that 45 percent of female business executives in video calls believe it is difficult for women to speak up and be heard. This is especially true in virtual meetings, where it can be hard to tell if you should jump in and talk.
This is equally important for companies in technology and business process outsourcing industries that are still considered more male-dominated than others. In 2020, Arthur Lawrence, a management and technology consulting firm, adopted the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles as part of its commitment to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community. More businesses need to adopt and act on these principles to be able to achieve gender equality and inclusivity goals.
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Introduce empowered female coworkers
Another way to empower women is to witness female leaders in action. Here are some ways to let the women in your company know they are valued:
- Share women’s wins. Mention a woman’s promotion or a significant victory on your website or newsletter. You must include social media links so that people can spread the word on their own. If a firm announcement is gender-specific, make it straightforward, so people know how many women work there.
- Host industry panels highlighting successful female employees. This will showcase your company’s skills and increase awareness of what it is like to be in your field.
- One of the ways to empower women is by celebrating special events and speakers to educate all that women’s struggle was and is still relevant.
Invite men to join the conversation
Empowering women requires remembering that gender inequality in the workplace is not a problem that either men or women can solve alone. A company cannot deal with the issue of gender inequality unless men are also part of it. Therefore, men should be a part of women’s empowerment.
There are multiple ways men can take part in empowering women in their teams. For instance, male leaders can mentor female employees in their group, advocate for equal pay, and recognize their contributions more often. As allies, male team members must respect their female coworkers and fight against stereotypes about women in leadership roles.
Use objective metrics to measure success
Analyze your company’s financial performance to see whether it is improving. If so, how many women today hold positions of power in your company? Observe the total female workforce percentage of your company; it will show not just the diversity but also the potential for experiencing a positive change. Analyzing your company’s proportions against competitors will create an industry-wide benchmark of women’s empowerment.
Facilitate working mothers
More often than not, companies lose female employees to pregnancy and childbirth, but what are you doing about it? Hiring more women won’t solve the problem. It will help if you have created a more supportive culture for working mothers.
Women are concerned about their careers, especially when they get pregnant. One way to empower women is by encouraging them to take parental leave. The company should make it easier for new mothers to change their schedules, allowing them to work from home. If possible, you should allow both parents to use paid parental leave. Helping mothers enroll their newborn babies in childcare programs or sponsoring daycare would remove the mental stress from parents’ shoulders.
Adopt a growth mindset
Organizational culture has much to do with employees’ willingness to take risks and be bold. If female staff feel safe making mistakes, they may be more likely to try new things, pursue tasks outside their comfort zone, and raise questions about the status quo. Those willing to take chances are more likely to step into leadership roles than those who feel they have no room for error or failure.
When a company’s leadership empowers women, they will take an interest in pursuing a leadership role. At that point, her supervisor can boost her confidence by pointing out the strengths she already possesses. For example, if an employee suggests that she would like to be promoted to a managerial position but feels like she doesn’t yet have the necessary experience, her supervisor could offer ways in which she could gain experience beyond her current position. This shows that you’re invested in helping women succeed rather than tightening your power structure.
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Businesses must ensure that women are not lesser than men. They can succeed just as much as men can. It is time to empower women in leadership positions, which will help advance the cause of gender parity and end the wage gap. We should also ensure that businesses provide a positive work environment where people can better balance their professional and personal lives.