Women have been in the workplace for centuries in one capacity or another – but they certainly have not always experienced equality in the professional sphere. Even today, women find themselves facing a glass ceiling and significant wage gap.
Breaking down barriers for women in the workplace is a goal many women have been aspiring to for decades. Understanding the main issues that women face in the workplace and what you can do to fight against them is a great place to start!
Promote Qualified Women Into Management Positions
Women hold 38% of management positions to men’s 62%, despite negotiating for raises and promotions at the same rate as men. Whether due to overt or unconscious bias, upper management is much less likely to promote women than men.
Additionally, when women do secure managerial positions, they are often lower or middle management rather than upper management.
In order to start breaking down this barrier to leadership, human resources (HR) and the C-suite need to sit down and seriously review their hiring and promotion policies. Additionally, looking at leave policies and offering more flexible working hours is critical.
Provide Adequate Parental Leave and Benefits
Women in the workforce are still often primary caregivers in the home. Moreover, mothers need the appropriate amount of time to recover after childbirth and both parents should be allowed that time to bond after birth.
When providing at least 12 weeks of paid parental leave to your employees, you break down barriers for women who might otherwise choose not to return to work. It gives them time to make arrangements for childcare and feel more comfortable returning to work since their baby is a little older.
You also set them up to better focus on their work. Creating an environment that allows women to feel secure in both their work and family lives benefits the business as well as the employees.
Create Opportunities for Women
Business owners and influencers have a unique opportunity to help break down barriers for women. Creating scholarships, encouraging young women to become a part of STEM programs, adding internships specifically geared towards women in your field – all of these are amazing ways to begin the process of helping to create equality in the workplace.
Beginning to create equality in the workplace is about more than just changing your policies and procedures. It is about actively working to provide an environment where women can grow, thrive, and move up the ladder.
At Applied Development, one of our top priorities is providing mentorships for women who are either just joining the workforce or who are looking to start their own businesses. We firmly believe in the power of providing feedback and support from those who have been there before.
Ask yourself today – what can your organization do to begin breaking down barriers for women in the workplace? Can you examine your C-Suite and hiring processes? Are you missing opportunities for providing mentorships? What do your benefits look like?