Just recently, the need for gender equality has grown with so many reported cases of women becoming victims to men in a multitude of ways. In 2022, it’s unfortunate that women still need to fight to be held to the same regard as men; however, we have made considerable progress in recent decades. Despite this, we’re still far from perfect and women are still treated as inferior beings in various aspects. Although we can’t control every area of existence, business owners and managers can do their bit to support women in the workplace.
Give Equal Pay
Although the Equal Pay Act was passed almost 60 years ago, this is still something that we’re talking about and fighting for. The gender pay gap is still prominent in today’s society and it’s especially hard on women of color. For instance, for every dollar that the average white woman earns, a black woman will earn 63 cents, whereas a Latina woman will earn just 54 cents. It goes without saying that gender or race should have no bearing on someone’s earnings and equal pay shouldn’t be something that women have to fight for. Simply, pay women and men equally for equal work.
Let Women Speak
Paying women fairly is just scratching the surface when it comes to supporting them in the workplace – you also have to involve them. This can be done by listening to their ideas, considering their input, and ensuring that women are represented in decisions. Don’t deny women the opportunity to present in pitches or allow male colleagues to speak over them, as this is both isolating and inappropriate.
As an employer, if you notice a male employee undermining, interrupting, or rewording a point raised by a female colleague, don’t stand for this. It’s impossible to support women in the workplace without addressing and confronting inappropriate behavior. Similarly, if you are a man, you should avoid projecting your own perception of what female empowerment should be. Instead, talk to the women on your team and let them speak for themselves.
Unfortunately, female representation is still a long way from even, even though various studies indicate that a diverse workforce results in a more successful company. In order to combat this issue of representation, you should assess your business model. For instance, if none of your female employees are at a managerial level, then something needs to be done about this.
A handful of businesses have diversity quotas that they aim to hit on a regular basis; however, this isn’t the only way that you can provide opportunities for women. Make sure you consider them for promotions, invest in their skills, and protect their developmental space.
Don’t Tolerate Sexism
Creating a supportive work environment for women doesn’t sit with the boss alone; women must feel comfortable around every one of their colleagues. Therefore, if you notice sexism or your female employees report any problems with sexism, be sure to take meaningful action against this. Whether this sexism is intended as a joke or not, no one should be made to feel uncomfortable in the workplace. In order to be an ally, you need to do your bit to prevent, highlight, and report unacceptable situations and behavior.
Treat Women as Professionals
In the workplace, no one is required to share anything about their private life. When it comes to treating women as professionals, their boundaries need to be respected and their personal lives shouldn’t impact any professional decisions. It’s irrelevant whether a woman is single or married, a parent or childless, or gay or straight. None of this is relevant to her professional life.