It’s pretty common knowledge that women in the workplace have a noticeably larger challenge ahead of them than their male counterpart. With everything from alarming sexual harrassment statistics to pay inequality, there’s a lot at stake and a lot of opposition to women effectively furthering themselves. As a leader in a workspace environment, it is your duty to foster and reinforce positive attitudes towards equality, and to provide your female employees with guidance and support as they navigate these tricky waters. It’s not a simple job but it is a vital one, making it something that you ought to be looking to outside sources for support on, whether you’re a man or a woman. So, with that said, let’s get going.
1. Do A Complete Wage Audit
Unequal pay is the most obvious offender when it comes to inequality in the office. Ther have been lots and lots of conflicting reports released on the true state of unequal pay these days and it’s your responsibility to simply tune them all out. “A leader’s job isn’t to worry about the statistics and get caught up in theoretical battles, it’s to make practical insurances against wage inequality”, says Geraldine Cole, career blogger at Academized and StateOfWriting. Your first step should be a wage audit: find out who’s making what each year and establish concretely why they are justified in their wage. An overhaul like that will serve a double purpose. It reassures women in the office who have nagging doubts about compensation that a new leaf has been turned over, and it gives you a chance to guarantee fair play.
2. Dealing With Imposter Syndrome
Imposter syndrome is a real issue in the workplace for women, and an issue that people will always be inclined to stay quiet about. The truth is that women not feeling qualified enough to have opinions or feeling like they’re not good enough, regardless of the reality of their background and skills, can cripple careers. As a leader, you need to tackle the problem by constantly affirming employees and drawing a causal link between their efforts and positive results.
3. Developing Leadership
It’s important that your own leadership involves thinking about the nature of your position, particularly in regards to women. Women typically have an unusual relationship with leadership positions, standing for them less frequently and finding themselves only in the last 50 years inpositions where leadership seems possible. “A leader in the workplace has a strong idea of what it takes to be a leader, which can be really helpful in looking to pass the baton. Women, in particular, sometimes need encouragement and reinforcement when it comes to the idea of becoming leaders”, says Laura James, business writer at OxEssays and AustralianHelp. The more female leaders there are, the more that women will have role models that will encourage them to pursue leadership positions as much as men.
4. Dealing With Sexual Harassment
It’s an appaling reality that over 50% of female office employees have experienced untoward sexual behavior, constiuting harassment. But it’s a vital statistic since it means that, unless things are done, sexual harassment will almost certainly occur under your oversight. It’s a very tricky issue that needs to be dealt with candidly and openly, with confidence to know what is right and what is wrong. If you waver at all, you may find very problematic situations on your hands.
5. Listen To Women More
Regardless as to your own gender, it’s vital that you listen to women in the workplace. We’re advanced enough societally speaking that women know they can share their opinion on things when they want to without needing to feel self-conscious. But the option alone simply isn’t enough. You need to seek out female voices to join in ‘the conversation’ to help inform office-based decisions with a complete and thorough outlook.
Overall, there’s lots to do for women in the workplace. As a leader, you have the unique position and power to actually do some, if not all, of that, making life easier for women and helping progression in the workplace. It’s not only that you have the opportunity though, you also have the duty.
Ellie Coverdale works as a business writer for UKWritings and EssayRoo. She loves sharing her insights and tips on authentic, meaningful psychological routes towards creative problem solving, and experimental ways to achieve goals. She also teaches writing at BoomEssays.