While gender equality at the workplace is a major point of conversation, there is still a lot to be done. The gender gap in hiring, wages, and promotions is alarming, and misses out on the contributions women could add to the world economy. This is a huge loss, as females make up approximately half of the world population. Furthermore, this is in clear contravention of international goals to promote gender equality in all spheres. Therefore, employers need some major policy shifts.
They have a lot of power in this situation and can make the field a much more equal place. Whether it’s a major corporation with offices all over the world or a tiny payroll staffing agency, the company policy itself should include equality. Usually, women have to deal with both their work and domestic lives, and tackle a lot more than their male counterparts. They also handle disproportionately higher childcare and home healthcare responsibilities.
Even in households where men and women claim to divide their chores equally, the planning all falls on the woman. This concept is called the hidden burden, and skews things heavily against women. This prevents them from progressing in the professional field as much as they deserve. Employers have a responsibility to try and resolve this problem. It won’t just benefit the women themselves, but also create more dynamic workplaces, and a more active economy in general. These are just a few of the ways companies can promote gender equality.
Create Flexible Schedules
Flexible schedules can go a long way in making things easier for women. If they are allowed to do their work within a flexible time period, they can balance it with chores, childcare, and other responsibilities.
All too often, women leave great jobs because they have to be at their desks throughout the day. If they’re given the leeway to do their work and carry on with their daily tasks, this dropping out rate will reduce significantly. Furthermore, this measure will increase employee satisfaction all around and boost creativity.
Provide the Right Support
Often, women have to leave jobs because they do not have adequate childcare or healthcare support. Many companies do not offer reasonable maternity leave or childcare support facilities. Therefore, working mothers tend to drop out of the workplace due to sheer necessity.
However, employers can entirely avoid this situation if they provide the right support mechanisms. Attractive maternal leaves, decent childcare facilities, and the right support can help companies retain working mothers. This reduces their drop-out rate, so employers do not have to spend considerable time and money to look for and train replacements. This support will make the organization a welcoming workplace with high employee satisfaction as well. This reputation is quite useful for most corporations.
Take Feedback In Account
Employers must listen to their female employees and pay attention to their concerns. If they just try to make changes without involving the women themselves, they’ll be largely shooting in the dark. These concerns can range from big ones like office timings to small ones like air conditioning temperatures.
HR departments can open up lines of communication to get an idea of what the females in their organization face. The concept of regular town hall meetings is perfect for this purpose, and can help employers make workplaces better and more equitable for women.
Tackle Common Dropout Causes
Data can play an important role in figuring out how to solve gender inequality at the workplace. Companies should see the leaving trends and other information regarding female employees, and confirm where the problem areas are.
Then, these employers should figure out the best ways to tackle these problem areas and retain their female workers. Often, these are as simple as commute issues or childcare schedules. If organizations offer employees the leeway to balance their personal and professional lives, they will promote a more comfortable environment for all genders.
Ensure Inclusion In Digital & Financial Realms
These days, remote work is opening up a lot of opportunities for women. However, research shows that women do not have the same access to digital and financial resources as men do. In addition, they do not have the knowledge to handle and utilize these resources, in many cases.
This is a sexist as well as classist situation, and there should be programs in place to educate women about these realms. In addition, organizations should undertake corporate social responsibility projects for this purpose. These will help improve the gender dynamics at the workplace, and add a lot of perspective.
Promote Diversity In the Workplace
A diverse workplace is highly conducive to creativity and innovation. This is because it adds multiple perspectives different from the conventional ones. These days, such innovation counts for a lot and can help companies capture and service new markets.
In many cases, women’s perspectives are ignored in industries like video games and fitness. However, there is a large female audience for these things. This is why more equitable representation can help the employer, the employee, and the customer.
In conclusion, while COVID-19 has widened the gender gap even further, its resulting remote work boom has opened up a lot of opportunities. Employers should get with the times and involve more women at every level for a better social and economic future.