Women In Business – 5 Ways to Support Women in the Workplace

Lately (or maybe I’ve just become acutely aware of it) when I read posts of women in leadership, the post always includes some pep talk on impostor syndrome and confidence building.

While I am sure we can all use a confidence boost from time to time, at Career Contacts we truly believe that the reason women aren’t landing in more leadership roles actually has nothing to do with these women at all.

Today, we are going to share our 5 tips that we believe will effectively increase the promotion and retention of women in business:

1. Re-write your job descriptions

Whenever we take on a new client, the first thing we do is advise them on ways to improve their job descriptions. We partner with organizations holistically to look at what they need, and come up with a variety of candidate profiles that may match those needs.

We also ensure postings remove gender assumptions, and words that often detract female applicants (rock star, ninja, etc.).  

2. Start from within – diversity does not start with hiring

In order to increase the diversity within an organization, you must FIRST ensure that you have an organization that is positioned to have a diverse work group succeed.

Through our sister company Training Arch, we provide full internal audits from process to documentation, and provide opportunities to not only be a more inviting organization, but to ensure that once you have hired more women, that they are set up for success. Keep reading for a preview of what is included in the Training Arch DEI 101 course!

“We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women’s voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored.”

– Sheryl Sandberg

3. Consider your team and accessibility

When organizations work with Career Contacts, they recognise that they are gaining access to a diverse talent pool, supported by a diverse group of HR and Recruitment professionals. This makes a difference! If the team you hire to support your recruitment doesn’t truly reflect diversity in a way that is important to you, keep looking!

Accessibility to roles is not only about seeing the opportunity but feeling confident to apply. Women are more likely to apply for roles that have opportunity to work from home. According to a recent study by FlexJobs, about 68% of women said that they preferred to work remotely. Additionally, 80% of women stated that remote work was a top job benefit that they look for when job searching.

Why? Among other reasons, 60% of women enjoy having more flexibility in their work schedules. This could be because according to a recent study by McKinsey and Company, working mothers take on a disproportionate amount of childcare and household responsibilities compared to their male counterparts.

It was also found that without the possibility of remote work options, 60% of women would look for a different job opportunity altogether.

While most organizations understand that leadership positions can structure their days as they see fit, explicitly supporting flexible hours, work environments and styles, demonstrates an organization’s desire to support the needs of their teams.

Lastly, accessibility is about ensuring that all of the needs in our first point (job description reviews) are true requirements. We believe “nice to have” notes are great, if companies are transparent about what is required vs. nice to have and ensuring that they are scoring candidates based on the first, and NOT the latter.

“Any society that fails to harness the energy and creativity of its women is at a huge disadvantage in the modern world.”

– Tian Wei

4. Review your internal Learning & Development  

We believe in the need for continuous improvement. We also believe in learning from those whose experiences we do not live, and respecting their stories. At Career Contacts, we partner with communities and organizations that advocate for various groups and invite them to collaborate with us when we facilitate training and support the growth of our clients. When we say we are about collaboration over competition – we mean it.

Need to review or refresh your company’s diversity, equity and inclusion training? Here is a preview of what is included in the Training Arch Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 101 course:

This introductory session aims to provide participants with basic understanding on what Diversity, Equity and Inclusion means within an organizational setting. Note, this session is part of an ongoing program series. DEI 201 and 301 are recommended. In this course you will learn about:

  • Land Acknowledgements – What they mean and why we do it 
  • Definition of DEI 
  • Defining key terminology within DEI work 
  • DEI from a hiring lens 
  • Forms of bias 

This course aims to introduce management and leadership to DEI concepts and begin the conversation. 

*Please note that formal DEI audits are required to be booked prior to this session. Audits include a conversation with the leadership team, a review of current policies and practices, and any documentation and communication plans. 

For further learning and development, Training Arch also offers Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 201 and 301 courses.

“I never, ever grew up as a young woman believing that my gender would stand in the way of doing anything I want.”

– Jacinda Ardern

5. Focus on pay transparency and compensation

If we continue to focus the narrative of women in leadership around confidence and impostor syndrome, we reinforce the idea that women need to start at the bottom, be grateful for opportunities and this perpetuates pay gaps and the lack of pay transparency.

If you’re new to our blog, you may not know that Career Contacts is passionate about pay transparency. According to laboratory and survey evidence from the last two decades, women are far less likely to negotiate their salaries than men.

The lack of pay transparency is a massive contributor to these disadvantages. In the U.S., many states are now legally requiring organizations to share salaries and we believe this is the key to fair and equitable compensation.

Our HR team is also equipped to review internal compensations, especially in challenging times, to support employee retention while also appreciate the very real reality of business objectives and business continuity.

“Studies show that greater transparency narrows pay inequities based on race and gender. If enough states enact pay transparency, it could forge a new national norm — one in which companies are as upfront about salaries as they are about prices.”

– Business Insider

Creating an environment that supports women in business, particularly in leadership positions is essential for an equitable workplace. If your company would like to learn more about how to create an uplifting environment for your entire staff, our team of HR professionals and our sister company, Training Arch, is here to help! With courses such as Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 101, 201, and 301, as well as other empowering courses including:

  • Anti-Bullying & Harassment
  • Respectful Culture Building
  • Unconscious Bias Training
  • Combatting Ageism in the Workplace
  • Creating a Safe Space
  • Emotional Intelligence – Leading with Kindness
  • Mindfulness & Self Care
  • Finding Your Voice
  • Moving from Employee to Manager
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Effective Workplace Communication 101

and more, Training Arch is equipped to help you facilitate a safe, efficient, and encouraging office for everyone on your team.

For more information on DEI, learning and development, and more, visit TrainingArch.com and for more HR and recruitment tips and resources, be sure to connect with us on LinkedIn stay tuned to our Blog!