The gender divide in the workplace today is still quite wide. Organizations struggle to understand how to source, attract and retain top female talent. It’s clear that recruitment practices need to change. Thankfully, big businesses are highlighting the gender balance issues at the workplace and taking the initiatives are the CEOs themselves. Here are some of the ways your organization can attract and retain female talent:
1. Create a work culture free of sexism
Companies should have documented policies against discrimination and sexual harassment. The work culture must truly embrace equality between men and women. This means educating employees about unconscious biases and benevolent sexism. A work culture free of sexism creates a safe and secure environment for employees that help them grow personally and professionally.
2. Make it easy for women to transition into leadership roles
A Gallup survey has already established that a diverse team in the workplace is conducive to success. So why do companies still struggle with promoting women? One factor that contributes is that men in large numbers already occupy the C-suite which would deter or discourage women to break into the men’s club. Companies that are serious about growing their business and recruiting talented women must ensure that their leadership team makes clear the career path that women can invest in. Diversifying all the teams in the workplace also helps. Strong female leaders should be encouraged to take in-house training to further their careers. Female leaders that are already in the organization with a wealth of experience can and should mentor young women in the company so they too can look forward to climbing the corporate ladder.
3. Flexible Schedules
Flexible schedules mean more than just the freedom to choose your shifts! It requires allowing employees to adjust their schedules, without penalty, to maintain a healthy work-life balance. They should be allowed to take care of their sick children, sick parents, attending school plays, etc. As long as they are producing results within their flexible schedules they should not be penalized. The benefit to this is a workplace that focuses on performance, not hours at the desk. It helps make employees feel more valued and satisfied with their employer.
4. Make no room for pay discrimination
When you hire talented women, understand that they put in the same amount of hard work and time as the men and acknowledge that with equal pay. Offer them equal opportunities and trust them with responsibilities similar to what their male counterparts are given to foster increased confidence and professional growth.
5. Empower Female Employees to Shape Company Culture
Companies should include women on the teams that are shaping company culture. Another way companies can help is by promoting the success of women. They can take pride in highlighting the women in senior roles in their organizations.
Good intentions, alone, are not enough to make women employees want to work for your company. Treat them well, provide them opportunities for professional development, provide competitive wages and benefits while helping create a culture that values their talents and respects them as individuals. These are the ways that will ultimately benefit your company.