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“The promise of equality is not the same as true equality.” Sheryl Sandberg
The 8th March was International Women’s Day, an important day for celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women around the world.
The theme for this year was #BreakTheBias. Tiger Recruitment’s team is made up of some exceptionally talented women, and we strongly believe that all companies should be working hard to alleviate the biases that stand in the way of women achieving elevated professional success.
There are now more women in the workforce than ever before, however despite the push for greater gender diversity, organisations continue to lag behind in female representation. This is difficult to understand when the evidence that women are great for business is there. According to research, the increase of women in leadership is helping businesses to thrive in unprecedented ways.
There are many compelling reasons why women are great for business. They demonstrate an unwavering dedication to learning and success and employ non-authoritative communication styles that are more likely to build cohesion and strengthen employee morale. They also value relationships, helpful when these can be leveraged to advance business deals. They take the time to develop an in-depth understanding of the needs and wants of each team member and leverage this empathy to develop winning strategies that lead to business growth and profitability.
According to McKinsey, ‘more diverse companies, we believe, are better able to win top talent and improve their customer orientation, employee satisfaction, and decision making, and all that leads to a virtuous cycle of increasing returns.’
A failure to commit to diversity will only lead to a dip in productivity and retention and a struggle to achieve long-term growth.
There are several steps organisations can take to make a positive difference to gender diversity and level the playing field in the workplace, here are just a few:
- Report on gender statistics transparently
- Implement gender neutral recruitment processes
- Provide training on unconscious bias
- Have a clear policy on discrimination
- Diversify the board
- Educate employees on gender bias
- Evaluate and standardise pay
- Openly object to gender bias when it happens
- Develop mentoring programmes to help women move up the ladder
Companies benefit when more talent rises to the top and they have a higher chance of creating sustainable success if they choose to leverage the ability and skill of a diverse group of minds.
Here are our top tips for achieving a greater gender balance and helping women to unlock their full potential:
- Assign work fairly
- Implement fair hiring practices
- Evaluate performance fairly
- Be prepared to offer flexible working options
- Hire more women from underrepresented groups
- Invest in the training and development of your female workforce
- Actively encourage women to progress into more senior positions
- Provide sponsorship opportunities for women
- Recommend women for stretch assignments and introduce them to powerful influencers in the organisation
- Push back at women who claim they are not sufficiently qualified
- Provide women with constructive feedback, this is critical for learning and development
- Take the time to understand what your female workers are trying to achieve and think creatively about how best to maximise their talents
- Publicly acknowledge work completed by women and don’t take their efforts for granted
- Allow women to have a voice, listen to their contributions and ideas
The bottom line…
Women’s contributions help to strengthen a business, they inspire people with ease and help to keep a company profitable. The more we encourage women to unlock their full potential, the more other women will be motivated to take ownership of their development. In short, organisations must do more to ensure that women are receiving the right opportunities that will lead to their professional advancement.
In her ted talk, ‘Why we have too few women leaders’, Sheryl Sandberg encourages women to sit at the table, believe in themselves, negotiate for themselves, and own their success.
If you’re interested in talking to our team about how we could help you develop a more inclusive hiring process, or how we could help you meet your staffing needs, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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