In many cultures, women and men are taught differently. They are pushed towards career paths deemed acceptable for each, usually resulting in women being steered away from traditionally male roles such as finance, medicine, or engineering. The women who do find themselves pursuing non-traditional work frequently face many obstacles, despite research showing women in leadership roles increase productivity and profit.
To combat biases against women in the workplace, especially in major leadership roles, businesses need to make changes and deliberately build a path for women to achieve the same successes as men. Below are several ways in which companies can do just that and more.
Use Data to Create Inclusive Leadership
Data doesn’t lie. Conduct an in-depth analysis of your workplace representation. Discover the true demographics, where the company lacks female leadership, and address problem areas that would keep women from being promoted to crucial roles. Having an unbiased view of how each role is represented allows you to make positive changes towards a more representative workplace.
Actively Pursue a Representative Strategy
Create a clear plan to get more qualified women in roles throughout the entire company. Create roles that have clear paths directly to the top of the company and provide a means for women to achieve these promotions. Diversity doesn’t just happen. It must be facilitated. Include more women in the hiring pool and actively recruit women of excellence in their fields.
Support the Women in Your Workforce
Men in positions of power tend to gravitate towards promoting more men into leadership roles. Create a work environment that consciously fights gender bias. Provide programs that support women in their professional development just as much as the men. There are also many instances of one woman in a large group of men. Don’t just promote one woman to meet a quota. Seek out several women excelling in their fields, especially within your company and groom them for leadership positions.
Create an Atmosphere of Inclusivity
Check in with your employees. Create forums or meetings with underrepresented groups within your company to learn more about the issues they face and how the company can change as a result to better serve everyone. Women have earned the right to advance within companies and should be provided with the same opportunities as men to succeed. Take stock of how your company may be holding women back and begin to make changes to improve working conditions across the board.