Women at work nowadays experience a wide variety of concerns while encountering many difficulties in their job. On March 8, International Women’s Day, companies and workplaces around the world have the ideal occasion to consider how they may better empower their female employees and what more they can do to advance the status of women in the workplace and ensure gender equality and women’s rights.
This article focuses on how a company can follow and the measures workplaces can take to empower their female employees.
Policies prevent Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Any workplace needs to have Sexual Harassment Policies, including a zero-tolerance approach, education on inappropriate conduct and consequences outline. Creating awareness among employees about sexual harassment and its forms is important. But many organisations still don’t understand how to protect women in the workplace. It is crucial to educate the workforce on the overall safety of women. Activities, open group discussions, or workshops can aid in raising awareness of workplace safety for women. When it comes to your employees’ physical and mental health, wellness initiatives are a must. The establishment of policies and legislation prohibiting sexual harassment at work serves as the foundation for awareness. One cannot end discrimination against women without first identifying the underlying cause. Women who experience sexual harassment typically don’t report it. We are accountable for this as a society. Low self-esteem and fear of losing jobs if they speak up are some reasons for avoiding starting this conversation. The female employees must be encouraged to voice their discomfort and get over it.
Fair pay or proper remuneration is key here. A proper or fair compensation structure means equity. To promote transparency, collect and report information on salaries, bonuses, and other forms of payment. Assess pay disparities, address them, inform people about the adjustments, and ensure your response to the great resignation doesn’t worsen them.
Build inclusive leadership skills through mentorship programmes
The managers or team leaders need to know how to build inclusivity in their teams. They need to lead mentorship programmes to develop leadership skills among their workforce. But it is of great importance that the managers and the senior team themselves are properly trained and have adequate knowledge about this. Companies and organisations need to invest in bias training. Companies can grow and flourish faster with structured support and training for managers and executives. The right training can help leaders understand the unconscious biases that distort their employees and executive decisions. Inclusive leadership training may provide female employees with a level playing field.
Flexible working arrangements
Most working women view flexibility as a crucial point for job satisfaction, greater even than salary. As an ally in the workplace, you can support flexible hours and remote and hybrid work arrangements. You can promote family-friendly advantages, including parental leave policies, health benefits, childcare stipends, and tuition reimbursement plans in addition to flexibility. Companies can design policies and programmes for working mothers catering to their needs. They can remind staff members of the value of having flexible schedules and being clear about their availability and maintaining a routine. All employees should have more control over their work schedules and be given more freedom to choose how and from where to complete their tasks. The transition to hybrid and remote work may either reinforce existing gender discrepancies or enable businesses to reevaluate their policies to treat women equally with men. Female workers face different challenges because of their unique body structure. They need to have the right to paid menstrual leave. During the first few months of motherhood, paid maternity leave will provide them with the time needed to heal and recharge before entering their job.
Challenge gender stereotypes
Unfortunately, many workplaces practise outdated stereotypical ideas about what constitutes men’s and women’s work or how men and women should behave. For example, ‘assertive’ behaviour in a man is perceived as ‘bossy’ but ‘rude’ in a woman. To ensure inclusiveness, a company needs to be aware of stereotypical tropes and confront them in both its policies and its thinking.
Therefore, a company should review and reformulate the rules and restrictions that hinder the productivity of women.
Transport facilities for female employees
In the corporate sector, employees are provided transportation to and from work as a benefit. Due to shift work and irregular operating hours, female employees’ commitment to work is a serious concern. The responsibility to safeguard the safety of female employees is on the employer. The company must implement safety measures to address the difficulties associated with female employees’ transportation. Apps can be used to track the location of the employees and enable the transport team to optimise costs and resources.
Employee productivity is directly proportional to their well-being. Workplaces need to increase the well-being of female employees to increase productivity in the workplace.
Author- TAHIA AFRA JANNATI