Happy Women’s History Month! As a company owned and run by women, this month is extra special to us. Given that, we wanted to share some tips on how you, as a leader can support women in the workplace. Here are some places to start (but by no means an exhaustive list), based on 2022 trends.
Supporting Mental Health
According to a 6-year study conducted by McKinsey, women are continually becoming burnt out every year, even more so than men. Better mental health support at work is imperative to keep this trend from continuing. First, look at what options your company provides for mental health and see if updates are needed. Then, consider a companywide campaign to educate staff on programs and benefits provided in this space, and suggestions for help outside of the company.
It's also important to consider upgrading your PTO policies for employees to be able to take time off when they need it. Encourage this to be true time off, not periodically checking emails and working a few hours here and there. Many studies find that a workforce with mental health benefits and more vacation days has been shown to be much happier which results in greater productivity at work and higher retention rates.
Promotions and Remote Work
As a result of the pandemic, women who are also caretakers are taking remote work options at higher rates than other groups and studies suggest this could harm their career advancement. Offering remote networking events and remote team bonding opportunities may help. Remote work is here to stay so companies must evolve and give promotions and raises by productivity, not office attendance. Create a new culture around remote work that includes everyone.
Gender Pay Gap
It was once considered taboo to discuss salary in the workplace but it’s becoming increasingly commonplace and may begin to spark change. We have yet to see the results of this, but it may have the potential to narrow gender pay inequity. If your company is considering encouraging it, think through the implications well.
Equitable pay also means equitable bonus and reward structures. Emerging data suggests that meritocratic rewards systems increase gender inequality in pay. Consider switching to a cooperative reward structure to encourage better teamwork and decrease pay inequality.
While this list only hints at some steps to take, any move forward will show all your employees that you’re paying attention and have their interests in mind. When an employee sees that their employer cares, it goes a long way.
Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash