On January 11th, 1935 Amelia Earhart flew from Honolulu to Oakland, CA. She was a pioneer in her field and a trailblazer in more ways than one. Now, her memory a symbol that celebrates women’s achievements in the workplace within all professions.
Although there has been great progress in the acceptance, equality, and celebration of women in the workplace, there is still work to be done. Here are some best practices that can help your organization give its female employees the recognition and celebration they deserve.
Women in the workplace
For organizations to better celebrate and support women in the workplace, they need to understand the current landscape. A 2019 study by McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.org compiled data from over 5 years, 600 companies, 100 1-on-1 interviews, and a quarter of a million people spoken to in order to get a true understanding of how women are represented within the workplace. Some highlights from the report include these key changes over the past 5 years:
- A 24% increase in representation of women in the C-suite
- A +8 percentage point increase of employees in a dual-career couple
- A +13 percentage point increase in companies’ commitment to gender diversity
- A +30 percentage point increase in the flexibility to work from home
These are all great improvements; however, there was also “little to no improvement” in the following areas:
- Representation of women at the manager level
- Representation of women of color
- Women feeling that gender is a barrier to advancement
- Microaggressions toward women
So what does this tell us? Although there are some significant improvements in representation of women in the workplace, there does not seem to be an improvement in culture or attitude. Therefore, organizations looking to truly embrace their female employees should implement cultural changes, or changes that greatly impact culture.
Here are some ways employers can achieve this:
Revamp the recruiting and hiring processes
You can change the cultural experience for a woman starting before she is even hired. Adopt the practices of removing names from resumes when reviewing, as to not encounter any unintentional bias. When making an offer to a potential hire, be sure to decide on salary based on market data and not salary history. Women have often been offered lower salaries than male counterparts and it’s important to break that cycle.
Create new roles and encourage female participation
If females have felt limited by the current roles in your organizations, create new ones. This is a great opportunity to seek input from female employees and get them involved in the creation of the roles. Make sure to encourage their participation in these roles and give them opportunity to grow and advance within them.
Have more options for family care
Family care is a high priority for most employees overall, but especially for women. Having more options for family and child care creates a culture that makes women feel more supported and understood in their needs. Some ways to incorporate family care into your workplace:
- Allow for flexible schedules or partial remote work, allowing mothers (and fathers) to attend events for their child or reduce the dependence on outside means for child care.
- Offer on-site child care if possible to simplify the schedules of busy parents.
- Add Dependent Care FSAs to your benefits offering -- they are tax advantaged and can ease the financial burden of paying for child care.
These are a few good first steps employers can make in celebrating women in the workplace all year long. For help implementing these practices, and more, into your workplace, contact us and let one of our experts help you!