With International Women’s Day just around the corner, this is a great opportunity to establish yourself as a company that believes in gender equality and makes an effort to make the workplace a healthy environment for all genders.
Happier employees make for more productive employees, which will ultimately help your business in the long run. So this year, take active steps to show your female and non-binary employees that you care about them. Do this not just with your words but with your actions as well.
As a business, there are a number of steps you can take to foster a work culture that celebrates equality and makes an effort to facilitate all genders. In this blog post, we’ll cover some of the most important ones and ways in which you can implement them in the workplace. Let’s take a look!
1. Make sure women have a seat at every decision-making table
A big problem in workplaces generally is that while a lot of women are hired at a subordinate level, there are very few women in managerial and higher-up positions. This means that when major decisions are made or policy changes are introduced, there is no one in the room to represent the interests of women and non-binary people.
And that’s where the problem starts. When there’s no one in the room that considers gender equality in the workplace a priority, the company will unwittingly introduce policies that are unfavorable to women. So how can you rectify this?
Hire more women in decision-making roles. This means more female CEOs, CFOs, COOs, you name it. Make women managers so that they can address the concerns of their female subordinates adequately.
Of course, this does not mean that you hire less qualified people. But historically, even qualified women are often overlooked in favor of their male counterparts. This is what you need to be mindful of. Once there are more women in the room making decisions, it will have a trickle-down effect and your policies will as a result begin to look more women-friendly.
2. Organize a Women’s Day seminar to educate your employees
Often, toxic work cultures are perpetuated by a lack of empathy, knowledge, and understanding by male employees. To them, equality in the workplace may not be a priority because they have never been on the receiving end of inequality.
Therefore, as a company, it is your duty to educate all your employees and help them see the significance of a gender-equal work culture so that they may actively contribute to it.
So this year, organize a workplace seminar on gender equality. Invite prominent women leaders and women speakers to come and talk to your employees. Conduct exercises and workshops that help people, specifically men, learn about steps they can take to foster a healthy work environment. Encourage your female employees to share their experience in the workplace, and what they feel could be done to improve things further.
Make sure everyone in the office attends. You can even open it up to the public if you feel like you can organize it on a larger scale. Put up posters around the office to highlight the seminar and Women’s day itself, and place flyers at employees’ desks so they don’t miss it. You’ll find some awesome Women’s Day flyer templates on PosterMyWall. Simply customize these, print them out, and paste them around your office.
3. Offer daycare facilities for working mothers
Working mothers are typically juggling multiple things (and people) at the same time. As a company, you should do everything in your power to help them out so that they’re happier, less stressed, and more productive.
A good place to start is by having on-site daycare facilities. You can rent out a room or a floor close to your office space, make it child-friendly (add some toys, a playpen, seating areas, someone to keep an eye on everything), and offer it as a place where mothers can drop their children for the day while they work.
This simple facility will help working mothers and single mothers out immensely, and save them the hassle of finding babysitters or missing work due to family emergencies.
4. Aim for diversity in the hiring process
The hiring stage is a good place to start working on gender equality. Often, the cause of toxicity in the workplace is simply not enough women, which leads to a culture that completely overlooks the needs and comfort of the few women employees who actually work there.
So, in your next hiring cycle, prioritize hiring a diverse group of people. Encourage women to apply and mention that you’re a gender-equal workforce that takes gender equality seriously.
Currently, all workplaces should be actively working towards promoting gender equality in the workplace. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it also leads to happier and subsequently more productive employees. The first step is to get more women in rooms where big decisions are made and to work with women employees to understand the specific gaps in gender equality that can be filled.