Eight Ways to Empower Women in the Workplace
As a Woman Owned Business, we are proud to uplift and empower the women in our organization every day. We put together a list of eight tips to empower women within your own organization in honor of International Women’s Day - because amazing things can happen when we lift each other up. March is Women’s History Month, and March 8th is a globally recognized call to action to accelerate gender parity and celebrate women’s achievements. The first ever gathering for International Women’s Day was held in 1911, and since then the issue of gender equality has gained enormous visibility, especially in the workplace. As of 2017, the Department of Labor reported there were 74.6 million women in the workforce, almost 47% of the total, and that number continues to grow. Over half of all management positions are held by women and around 10 million businesses are owned by women, including Career Group Companies! Unfortunately, the events of this past year have had a disproportionate effect on women in the workforce, as statistically female-dominated industries have been more negatively affected by COVID-19 (such as travel and hospitality, restaurants, and in-person retail) and women working from home have had the added challenge of juggling work and child-care, due to remote schooling. We are eager to see these industries return to their pre-pandemic vitality, but this data just proves it’s more important than ever to uplift the hard-working women in our lives and within our organizations. By advocating for women we continue to make strides toward equality which means more women achieving their goals, taking on leadership roles, and finding career success! Here are eight tips on how to empower the women in your office:
1. Amplify women’s voices and ideas
Give women a seat at the table. All too often women’s voices are overshadowed by their male counterparts. Studies show that video meetings can make it even harder for women to get a word in. Combat that by making sure women in your organization are getting credit for their ideas and that they feel empowered to speak and share.
2. Mentor girls and women
It can be so impactful to take other women under your wing. By being a resource for the next generation of female leaders, you are giving them a leg up on their journey to success and ensuring a bright future for women in the workplace. We recently partnered with Gyrl Wonder to mentor ambitious young women of color and provide guidance and resources as they enter a competitive workforce. To learn more about their amazing organization or to get involved, visit their site!
3. Promote women
In more ways than one! Promoting women from within into management and C-level positions is inherently empowering and speaks to their capacities as both an employee and a person. Plus, studies show that organizations with women in power outperform those without. This year, we saw countries with female leaders were able to better handle the pandemic. Promoting women is a win-win.
4. Be a role model
By asserting yourself as a role model and someone who consistently empowers women, you are demonstrating your own power and strength in the workplace. Leaders of all genders can become role models in the effort of achieving gender parity. Being a role model also means being approachable, open to feedback from women, and willing to offer help.
5. Help close the wage gap
You’ve probably heard the saying, equal pay for equal work. Women still earn on average only 82 cents to every dollar a man makes. Research shows women also have more student debt as a result of pursuing higher education, and the wage gap is even wider for women of color. Close the wage gap in your organization by ensuring employees in equal positions with similar experience are earring equitable salaries, regardless of gender or race. Conduct regular pay equity audits and correct any discrepancies.
6. Enact fair parental leave policies
This is absolutely essential for gender equality in the workplace, as it encourages both new mothers and fathers to have a healthy work/life balance, and makes no assumptions about which parent is taking on the responsibility of child care. Today’s employees shouldn’t have to choose between a thriving career and parenthood. Fair policies ensure employees know they will be treated with respect when and if they decide to start a family.
7. Give women opportunities
Men will more often be given opportunities based on potential, while women will be given opportunities based only on previous experience. Turn this around, and give early-career women a chance to prove themselves. If a new project comes up and you think a woman on your team would be the perfect person to take the lead, put her name forward and back her up as the best choice!
8. Remove gender bias in your organization
Studies show different expectations are placed on women and men in the workplace. The myth of female rivalry at work stems from the idea that there aren’t enough opportunities for women to go around, and your work culture may be contributing to this idea. Are women in your organization expected to take notes in meetings or plan all office activities? Are women in leadership roles expected to be more aggressive? You may have unconscious biases about the kinds of tasks or roles women are more suited to, or the dynamics of workplace relationships. Removing gender bias and empowering women at all levels will create a work environment where teams can finally root for each other’s success. -- Let’s show the world what we are capable of — because when we empower women, we empower ourselves!