How to Better Support Women in the Workplace
Our CEO, Susan Lucas Conwell, recently sent out an interesting article on women in the workplace and gender-balanced leadership style. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that groups that are more gender balanced are smarter and more productive than groups that aren’t gender balanced.
The article makes a great case for hiring more women, as well as why promoting women in the workplace is important. However, a balanced leadership team can be difficult to create overnight. In the meantime it is good policy to make sure women always have a chance to voice their opinion when upper management makes decisions that impact everyone.
In the spirit of promoting the female voice, I sent out a quick poll to my female coworkers here at Great Place to Work®. In the process, I turned up a few great ideas on how any office can become more female friendly. While these tips are not a subsitute for a gender-balanced leadership team, they can help create an environment where women feel more comfortable speaking up and seeking roles in upper management.
5 quick tips to help any office become more female-friendly
- Organize an affinity group for women in the workplace.
Creating a forum for women to brainstorm in a supportive environment is a great way to generate innovative ideas and progress the company overall.
- Develop a mentorship program for women, by women.
Women in the workplace who have successfully been promoted to upper management are by far the best mentors for other women with similar aspirations. Chances are, a program just needs to be put in place to help connect these two groups.
- Provide relevant healthcare.
Providing onsite health screenings is a good way to take care of both genders. Check out services such as Mobile On-site Mammography to keep your female employees healthy.
- Extend maternity leave programs.
Did you know that the US is one of the few countries that still doesn’t require companies to offer paid maternity leave? Approximately 50% of US companies don’t extend benefits to new moms, but this number is decreasing annually. Get ahead of the game and support your employees’ little ones!
- Reserve a small room at each office for new moms.
At Great Place to Work®, we have a family room that is a designated space for new moms to attend to nursing needs. To make the space more inviting, we put out flowers and cover the walls with adorable pictures of employees’ children.
At the end of the day, the best way to learn what policies are right for your female population is to just ask them!
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