A common question companies are increasingly asking themselves is, “how can we support women in the workplace?”
Studies show that 4 out of 10 working women, or 42%, in the United States say they have faced discrimination on the job, because of their gender.
However, there are ways to fix this problem—or prevent it before it starts—by actually taking steps to empower women at work. Posts about Women’s History Month on Facebook are well-meaning, but don’t really do anything to address the problem.
So, keep reading to learn how to support women in the workplace and see a true difference.
How to Support Women in the Workplace
1. Be Willing to Discuss Pay
The wage gap between men and women continues to persist, despite companies’ attempts to balance it out. In fact, women in 2022 earned 17% less than men on average, particularly for women that are older in age.
A solution could be increased pay transparency, which is employers’ practice of communicating more information with employees about their pay. This could be a way to gain your female employees’ trust, and ensure them that they are valued just as much as anyone else.
Also, assess the pay of all your employees and ensure that pay is being distributed fairly based on job titles and duties.
2. Represent Women at Higher Levels
In an attempt to promote more opportunities for women in your workplace, it’s important to have strong female role models as leaders and inspiration in your corporate structure.
Having female managers or supervisors can help your other female employees feel like they could advance to higher levels within the company as well. This also shows that your workplace and management team are more representative of your employees!
3. Offer More Flexibility for Mothers
Work-life balance is an important aspect of any job. However, mothers in the workplace require a certain balance that a lot of companies don’t care to offer.
There is a common issue known as “the motherhood penalty.” This is a term that describes career problems women face after having a child. It’s based on biased, stereotypical views of mothers, such as the notion that they’re less productive. The motherhood penalty affects mothers’ salaries, ability to get hired, and promotions.
If you employ working mothers, make sure that you empower and encourage them all day long. It’s not easy for a mother to be away from her child(ren), especially when they’re young.
Next time one of your female employees wants to leave an hour early to pick up her child from school, or extend her maternity leave, hear her out! Give her the chance to be a successful mother and employee– don’t make her choose one or the other.
4. Use Women’s Ideas
A common problem that women face at work is feeling like they’re ignored. If a woman on your team offers up ideas, questions, or any other contributions, make sure you address them. On top of that, make them feel heard.
Consider your language–ask questions and use verbiage like, “can you elaborate on that?” and “thank you for bringing that up. We’ll keep it in mind.”
However, don’t just tell your female employees that you value their opinions–prove it to them! Use their ideas, put them into action, and give them credit! They helped the team and business with their valuable opinions.
5. Enforce an Open-Door Policy
An open door policy indicates to your employees that a supervisor or manager is open to employees’ questions, complaints, suggestions, and any other feedback. The goal is to encourage open communication and discussion about any concerns employees may have.
This is especially important for women at work. If you notice that your female employees are struggling, encourage them to talk about it; as well as work collaboratively on a solution.
Learn More About How to Support Women in the Workplace
For more information about how to support women in the workplace and help them feel truly empowered, contact Stiletto today for a free consultation.
We can help you create actionable strategies for achieving goals, creating change, and transforming workplaces into more motivated and productive environments!