Within the workplace it’s important we support the women around us. Especially since COVID-19 has caused Gender Equality to reverse in some respects. It’s important now more than ever that as businesses you continue to encourage the development of women at work.
Understanding those working for you is key in ensuring that correct support and resources can be put in place. Women are still facing many work-related issues. We need to acknowledge and combat them to minimise them happening in your business.
So, let’s look at six ways to help support women within the workplace…
Provide mentoring and training programmes
Mentoring and training programmes are the way in which employees can progress. This should be a focus for women who often face more obstacles still to gain leadership or more senior roles.
However, more importantly, the pandemic has shown to have impacted women in quite a large sense with the increase in care responsibilities, fallback in the gender pay gap, and increase in mental health problems. Having mentoring and key programmes would provide check-ins that allow for maintenance in good wellbeing. They can also focus in on issues which may be solely impacting them as a woman.
You could centre mentor sessions on awareness and tackling mental health. Perhaps even create discussion groups where people can express how they feel on female issues or matters at work.
Support campaigns and Government partnerships
Getting involved with charities, campaigns, and Government partnerships that support women’s issues both within and outside of work is important. It shows your female employees that you’re acting, working towards change, and supporting them.
One campaign that is ideal to promote within the workplace is the #BeBoldForChange movement by Where Women Work. It helps employers reach and engage female candidates, ensuring companies are supporting female talent.
Address unconscious bias
Policies can sometimes naturally hold biases that are weighted against women. In turn these biases can heavily impact the career progression for them.
With this in mind, it’s important to keep an eye on policy updates to see whether they could be fairer. We also recommend regularly going through the current policies to check they do not have any biases or male-centric topics.
Offer relevant resources
Development is important for anyone at work, however, to promote the development of women into leadership or more influential positions you need to be promoting relevant courses and resources that may help them on their career path.
This could simply be a learning document, PDF, PowerPoint, training course, or link to a knowledge hub with multiple useful tools and resources.
To help further, rather than just making these resources available to them, try to suggest specific ones relevant to them and inform them when materials have been updated. Try to think about the female employees’ job competencies and see what courses would benefit them.
Involve men in the conversation
To provide leadership opportunities and programmes for women it’s a good idea to involve men in the conversation. Speaking with them to help them understand and become more aware of the challenges their female counterparts face is essential.
Having male allies plays a large part in sustaining equality efforts within the workplace so, it’s key to emphasise the importance of their support and make sure that this is maintained.
Hold regular one-to-ones
Due to the heavy burden many women have been placed under following the pandemic, it is now more important than ever that we are checking in and involving them in key decisions.
Although the number of women in more senior or influential positions has increased over the last few years, it is still much lower than men. This means that fewer women are involved in decisions surrounding the business even though they are likely to hold opinions like their male counterparts.
In response to this make sure managers gain feedback and make time for one-to-ones to see if they have any suggestions for support and to talk about any key decisions in the pipeline so, they can share their opinions on them.
Empowering women within the workplace is everyone’s responsibility and as a business you hold a lot of influence in this so, act now!
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