It’s Women’s History Month, and a time to recognize the monumental legacies made by women – and how we can continue to empower them in the workplace moving forward.
Philosophers, explorers, scientists, teachers, mothers, women have been successfully blazing the trail since the beginning of time. Why then are many female leaders still having to fight for the same voice and rights as their male counterparts?
Positive steps towards a more equal workplace are being made across many industries, but there is still much to do in making the boardroom a level playing field. Throw in the setback of the pandemic, and much of this progress has been halted in its tracks, so much so that one in four women had considered leaving the workforce entirely to fulfill the role of caring for dependents.
The result? For women re-entering the world of work, stalled growth and a lack of advancement have led to numerous issues, further fueling a future of uncertainty. For this reason and so many more, the businesses who actively seek to empower women in the workplace are not only empowering the individuals in question – but the entire workforce.
By choosing to champion these values, companies can communicate the most important message of all, a culture that cultivates equality. International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month can of course help to elevate this message, but it’s the conscious everyday decisions of a business that will lead to a transformation.
We explore 5 ways to empower women in the workplace, both now and for the years to come.
1. Celebrate each other’s strengths
While we may all have followed similar career paths, every journey is different. Pair that with our experiences as individuals, and the skills we bring to the table will always be unique. A diverse pool of talent is what makes any modern workplace a thriving place to be. Those businesses empowering women through celebrating their strengths can only hope to nurture them further and help women realize their true potential.
When it comes to driving productivity and growth, there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach. Instead, leaders should actively seek to banish comparison culture (and the impostor syndrome that often follows). Wherever their skills may lie, women should be encouraged to lean into their strengths and cherish them.
2. Embrace each other’s weakness
Acknowledging our weaknesses is a sign of strength. We should empower women in the workplace to open up about short-comings in a positive way.
By doing so, businesses can help employees realize that everyone makes mistakes, and it’s all part of the process. Failures and setbacks can be hard to accept but women who feel empowered to learn from these will be prepared the next time a similar situation arises in the future.
Just because a mistake was made, doesn’t mean your influence will automatically be overlooked. Leaders who lead by example can help to foster a culture of understanding – accepting employees for both their strengths and their weaknesses.
3. Make time to listen
Businesses striving to empower women in the workplace must ensure equal opportunities for all – and be willing to listen. Now more than ever before, companies that champion mentorship can help remove the invisible pressures felt by women – often driven by lack of opportunities in the past, or the feeling that they are not as “good” as their competition.
Women shouldn’t feel the need to channel their inner “warrior” to be heard. Ultimately, leaders who empower women in the workplace are those seeking to help, not undermine. Through times of struggle, remaining approachable – even within the confines of hybrid working – can make all the difference when it comes to acknowledging imbalance.
4. Be transparent about compensation
While many companies deem discussions around salary to be “unprofessional”, the gender pay gap isn’t going away on its own. Transparency and openness around the subject of compensation can help establish trust, display a commitment by the company and create a positive work environment for all.
When it comes to evolving our approach to pay structures, the taboo nature of the issue has often made it a no-go area for many. By breaking that taboo, women who once felt unsure about asking about peer compensation may feel more empowered to negotiate their salary thus feeling more in control of their career.
5. Embrace individuality
Just like our professional strengths, our unique traits as individuals form the foundation of any successful business. Empowering women in the workplace is about remembering that. With the often-impossible expectations of women in the workforce further exacerbated by recent events, it is important employees are given space to breathe, and space to thrive as their very best selves.
Those who lead with empathy, and realize that we are all human in the face of ever-changing events, are those who can expect the most back from their employees. To empower women in the workforce is to champion equality, diversity, and inclusion – whatever the days ahead may bring.
Whether you’re looking for a full-service HR department or need a little help with your existing people team, ADDA Infusion is here to provide a solution to your need.
Get in touch to see how we can help!