Every year more women enter the workforce, filtering into industries previously locked away from them. The progress made has been excellent – but there’s still a long way to go.
One way to start making a difference today is by empowering women already in the workforce. Leaders can (and should) step up and help remove barriers, biases, and complications whenever possible.
Amplify Female Voices
Unfortunately, it is all too common that even when a woman in the workforce speaks up, she finds herself talked over. This problem is exacerbated by the necessity of video meetings, where it is difficult for women to be heard.
The solution to this problem is to amplify the voices of women. Give them the floor (or video conference) so that they can have a turn in explaining their thoughts, ideas, or critiques. Likewise, it is critical to give credit for the ideas they come up with, as the stealing of credit is another problem women see all too often.
This goes beyond giving them the chance to speak at a meeting – women need to be invited to those meetings. One recent study found that only fifteen out of one hundred people in a board meeting were women. That’s only a fifteen percent ratio, which needs to change.
According to countless studies, women only earn eighty-two cents for every dollar a man earns. In other words, despite equal pay laws, women still make less than men. This problem is compounded by other factors, such as race, age, and marital status.
Empower women by being part of the solution, not the problem. Provide equal pay – actual equal pay. All employees within the same position should receive equal pay, especially when experience levels are similar.
It is essential to encourage women to try and work their way up the workforce ladder. The best way to do this is by rewarding employees – by creating a clear career path to follow, one with plenty of opportunities for advancement.
By diversifying management, a business is more likely to hear creative solutions to daily problems, have happier employees, and value the available assets.