In August of 1920, the 19th Amendment was officially ratified after 41 years of debate. Because of the colossal impact this moment had on the Women’s Rights movement, August 26th was designated as Women’s Equality Day by Congress in 1971.
In honor of Women’s Equality Day, we’re taking a look at the evolution of women in the workplace so we can continue to provide an inclusive, supportive environment that encourages women to succeed. While we’ve certainly come a long way in terms of women’s opportunities and successes in the workplace, we know it’s important to look at the situation with an honest lens and find areas where we can improve.
Women in the workplace
We mentioned that great strides have been made regarding women in the workplace, but what are they? A recent study by McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.org aimed to answer just that. Here’s what they found (in data compared from 2019 to five years prior):
- A 24% increase in representation in women in the C-suite
- An 8% increase of employees in a dual-career couple
- A 13% increase in companies’ commitments to gender diversity
The not so good
Little to no improvement was reported in the following areas:
- Representation of women at the manager level
- Representation of women of color
- Microaggressions towards women
- Women feeling that their gender is a barrier to advancement
While this shows that society has made significant progress in how women are viewed in the workplace, it also indicates that more support is still needed.
Supporting women in the workplace
If you are looking to honor National Women’s Equality Day, you can start by assessing your current practices and making sure they truly align with what your female employees need for success.
Here are some initiatives organizations can focus on to better support their female employees:
- Caretaker benefits -- While women are not the only caretakers in the workforce, the burden is often placed on them to balance work and family care. Offering Dependent Care Accounts and other caregiver benefits can drastically reduce caregiver stress and allow women to find better work-life balance, resulting in better engagement and a more positive outlook.
- Professional development opportunities -- Have conversations with your female employees to find out their passions, goals and ideal career paths. Then, put professional development programs in place to help make those happen.
- Women-led panels and committees -- Giving your female employees a platform and a voice can go a long way. Having women-led groups, panels, committees and other resources can empower your organization with the insights needed to make meaningful changes.
- Create new roles and encourage female participation -- It’s possible that your female employees have felt limited by the current roles in your organization. You can create new roles with the input of your female employees and encourage them to apply, allowing them to learn and grow.
The key to supporting women in the workplace is being open to truly listening to their needs and being flexible in your approach to meeting them.
Spotlight: Celebrating the women of Clarity
At Clarity, we try to continuously recognize the hardworking, dedicated women who play integral roles in our success. Here are just a few of the many examples of women leading Clarity teams to success:
Linda Spitale, Vice President of Technology Initiatives
Linda was selected by NJBIZ as a winner of the 2020 Digi-Tech Innovator awards for her innovative technology solutions that have increased productivity, improved customer service and enhanced customer access to their Clarity benefits.