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12 ways to promote empowerment for the women in your workplace

Posted by sayam

March 2, 2022

Are women involved in key decision-making and execution in your workplace? Having more women in senior roles has been found to make companies more profitable in multiple studies, such as the Peterson Institute of International Economics study of 22,00 firms from 91 countries. A profitable firm at which 30% of leaders are women could expect to add more than 1 percentage point to its net margin compared with an otherwise similar firm with no female leaders, the study found.

Despite the popular belief that female workers have almost closed the gender gap, data show that men continue to occupy the majority of high-paying jobs. And according to McKinsey & Company’s Women in the Workplace 2021, women continue to advance to management roles at a much slower pace than men. For every 100 men promoted to manager, only 86 women achieve the same status. This in turn chokes the supply of women progressing to more senior roles.

Businesses that seek to bridge the gender gap will need to do more than announce a commitment to doing so. They need to demonstrate intentional actions to help narrow the gap.  We’ve curated a dozen of the best ways to promote female advancement in your workplace, as shown below.

1. Motivate women to take the lead

Give female employees opportunities to take on new tasks for which they are well suited or in which they have an interest. Encouraging women to seize such opportunities will help them gain valuable leadership experience. Aim to provide them with projects that showcase their skills and let them take risks.

2. Give full ownership over projects

After you delegate a new task or project, step aside and let them show you their abilities. Be sure to communicate that if a mistake arises, you and the organization will support them. This will encourage learning instead of worrying about repercussions.

3. Provide feedback

Feedback can help women in your workplace feel more confident. By pointing out what’s working well and what can be done differently, you can help them strengthen their skills. 

4. Encourage women to speak up

Many women say they’re routinely overlooked during work meetings. Encourage female employees to share their thoughts during meetings, especially when their skills complement the task at hand, and by being an active listener. If nobody volunteers, ask a question directly to one of the women in the meeting.  

5. Set goals for women’s participation

When it comes time to create annual goals and success metrics, don’t overlook the need to set goals for female participation. Examine your business’s structure and establish standards for how many women should be included on different teams. If you don’t have any women at the managerial level, reassess your business model. 

6. Provide flexibility to working moms

Some 88% of working women consider flexibility to be either as important or more important than salary in determining job satisfaction, according to The Mom Project. You can support working mothers by offering flexible schedules and remote and hybrid work arrangements.

7. Prioritize pay equity

Plan to standardize the salary structure, regardless of gender or race. The only way to close the pay gap is by ensuring raises and pay are equitably determined

8. Create a safe workplace for women

Promote an environment in which sexism is not tolerated. Part of this is making sure women can raise concerns without fear of retaliations and that they know whom to go to. But you must also act and ensure immediate redressal in response to unacceptable situations and behavior.  

9. Check your biases

Women who are competitive and direct instead of “nice” may face a backlash at work for embodying characteristics seen as masculine. Or women may be assigned disproportionate loads of “office housework,” like making coffee, planning events and other undervalued tasks, because they are seen as women’s work. To combat gender bias, you can introduce anti-bias training and track gender differences in tasks, wages, promotions and the like. 

10. Provide mentorship

Pairing up women on your staff with strong female role models is a great way to empower them to succeed. Similarly, promote dedicated activities or training for women, such as public speaking events and support groups.

11. Offer a fair maternity leave policy

According to a  YouGov poll of 21,000 people conducted March 25 - April 1, 2021, 82% of Americans think employees should be able to take paid maternity leave, including for adoption.  Having a fair maternity policy at the workplace can help you support expecting women financially and emotionally. 

12. Ensure remote work doesn’t limit advancement

In a study, 70% respondents said that remote workers may be passed over for leadership positions due to less physical visibility versus those working in the office. So, it's extremely important for leaders to set up new benchmarks for promotion and raises with the advent of remote working. 



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