I recently finished creating a one-day workshop delivering a 5 step system on how to Employ and Engage Women in Low Diversity Environments and was amazed at how many comments or new research were coming into my inbox almost daily. It was really hard to keep up at times! Fiona Smith’s comment “Organisations need to come to grips with the impact of family on workplaces. It’s not a ‘women’s issue’, it’s a societal issue” is so very true.
I acknowledge that a few companies are doing a great job and really paving the way, however I’m constantly amazed and frustrated that progress is so slow with the majority of businesses. Putting aside the issue of promoting women into leadership positions, the cultural change needed to becoming flexible enough for women to consider coming back to work doesn’t seem to have progressed at all.
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With so many talented women wanting to return to work after having their children, it seems flexible options keep getting put in the too hard basket and so, often these women choose to stay at home.
Opening your own business is a challenging and wonderfully rewarding thing to do. But equally, it can be soul destroying for those who fail and the flow-on effect can be a loss of confidence impacting on the next job search.
Opening your own business is, of course, an option and many women now create their own businesses so they can work around family commitments. Opening your own business is a challenging and wonderfully rewarding thing to do. But equally, it can be soul destroying for those who fail and the flow-on effect can be a loss of confidence impacting on the next job search. So, if you would like to encourage more women into your workplace – here’s a few tips.
Tips to encourage more women into your workplace
If you are in a leadership position:
- Ensure you mentor another woman in your company
- Lobby for flexible working hours – studies show it increases productivity
- Think global and act local – don’t wait for the government to bring in change. Can you influence changes in policy within your company?
- Is salary sacrificing childcare something your company can initiate to encourage more women into your workplace? Are there other options around childcare?
As an employee:
- Proactively speak up about what you would like to see happen in your workplace
- If you love where you work, actively encourage more women to join
- Support other women at all levels of the organisation to create a happier environment. Statistics show that individuals who are happy at work are more energised, get sick less often, are more motivated, are more confident and have more belief in their potential. Who wouldn’t want that?
In one study I was reading, it stated “Women may be inherently better at Influence, Trust, Collaboration, Negotiation and Team Building – so if your company is lacking these skills, perhaps employing more women is the answer!
As Helen Conway said “We need to bring about cultural change so that flexible work arrangements and flexible careers are seen as the norm”.
I believe, “We” means you and me. So I encourage you to get on board and do your bit to assist and encourage more women back into the workplace.
Glenise Anderson is the Chief Confidence Chick at Self Confident Women and Director of SR Group, training and development companies delivering personal development options to individual women and companies around the world.
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