How can we better empower women in the workplace? (yes it’s still a hot topic!)
‘Work Like a Woman’ Mary Portas (we salute you)
Women are entering and continuing to stay in the workforce now more than ever. Today, more than two-thirds (71.8%) of women aged 16–64 are employed, the highest percentage since the Office of National Statistics began recording this data in 1971!
The power of women in the workplace is by now a no-brainer. From boosting corporate profits to driving innovation, the benefits are well documented. (If you haven’t already read Mary Portas’s ‘Work Like a Woman’) it’s a must-read for everyone.
Whilst there are many more opportunities out there for women we are still fighting an uphill battle as men continue to dominate leadership positions across most industries.
It’s 2019, yet, women who have children continually face a challenge trying to juggle that work-life balance, for fear of being behind their full-time male counterparts. Younger women are still being overlooked for promotions, as their peers make an unfair assumption that they will soon be off on maternity leave.
So how can we empower women in the Workplace?
King Recruit is made up of 3 women, we are all Mothers. We continually support and empower each other, we all have the flexibility to work from home, we all have the opportunity to put our children first without the dreaded work guilt. We work as a Team.
King Recruit have devised 4 workplace must-haves to empower the women in your workplace…
Close the pay gap.
The gap is slowly closing but so much more needs to be done. Equal pay, put simply, means, pay equal wages for equal work and experience!
When women feel they are being cheated out of fair pay, they don’t feel valued at work.
What’s more, concerns over gender wage disparities and a lack of race and gender diversity in executive leadership can lead investors to lose confidence and hurt employee performance.
One simple way to quantify whether a company pays men and women equally is to conduct pay-equity audits. Companies that champion salary data transparency will assure pay equity and attend to possible wage gaps or other discrimination.
Promote and Champion career progression for Women.
According to a Catalyst study, Fortune 500 companies with three or more women on the board outperform against businesses without. Statistics show these businesses have a 53 % higher return on equity, 42% higher return on sales, and 66 % higher return on invested capital.
However, women are still being overlooked for promotion against their male colleagues. The promotion of women shows they are valuable to the company and that their abilities to do the job well has been recognised.
By having diverse management it will make it easier to identify issues of discrimination, help encourage other women to progress and attract other women to the business.
Addressing the unconscious bias.
In order to eradicate unconscious bias companies need to start addressing their workplace culture. If the culture has always favoured employing and promoting men this needs to change.
A common psychological experiment undertaken at leadership workshops asks participants to draw an ‘effective leader’ and the results almost always depict a man.
Companywide training for staff at all levels, can help staff to be aware of their own bias, and assist them when making decisions and introduce better company policies surrounding the hiring process.
When hiring it’s a good idea for companies to involve several members of the team from the initial application to interview stages. Teams can stay in check by keeping each other accountable throughout the process.
Ensure that Parental leave policies are fair to men and women.
As long as women are still thought of as the primary caregivers and the ones that will take time off after having a baby then there will be no change. Men typically have only 2 weeks paid paternity leave (statutory). This lack of time off impacts a man’s ability to be with his new family and impacts a woman’s return to work.
Amazon recently announced a revamped parental leave. Amazon now offers up to 20 paid weeks of leave, the ability to share up to six weeks of paid leave with a spouse or partner, and a flexible return-to-work program.
A fair parental leave policy will take the stigma out of women returning to work after they’ve had children. And that shared vision and respect for women’s needs will signal success for the future of empowered women in the workplace.
At King Recruit we help shape careers. If you are looking for a new opportunity, call King Recruit on 01392 790725 for a confidential discussion.