You may think the idea of supporting each other within the workplace sounds simple, but how do you specifically support women? Supporting women at work should come as naturally as supporting men, so why do we sometimes still fall short?
Our Digital Marketer, Rebecca Shears, shares a few ways we can encourage and support women in the workplace:
Create a space where women can speak freely
The first, and most important, thing for me is to let women speak. Women should be able to speak freely and creatively without fear of being judged, overshadowed or left feeling isolated. Everyone should be listened to and respected, whether it be in the boardroom, office or breakout room. If you’re not listening, you may well miss something that will benefit you and everyone else around!
Give equal opportunities
Companies are beginning to set themselves targets to ensure equal opportunities are met in the workplace. Women should have all the opportunities men do, and this should be shown in the office. If there is a senior role up for grabs it should be down to talent, knowledge and office performance to decide who should get it, not just because it is a man against a woman.
Give women equal pay
This leads me on to equal pay for women. Pay can be very dependent on age, experience and job role, but pay should never be determined by someone’s sex. The gender pay gap is still alive and kicking and we all need to work hard to close it. Pay should be down to the work someone produces, their time, knowledge and experience within the company or that sector, and this should be the case for men and women.
Don’t tolerate sexism
Sexism. Need we say more? Sexism should never be tolerated and definitely not within the workplace. Men are not superior just because they are men, and women should never settle for this. If a woman excels in her job, this is because she is talented and experienced and worked hard to be where she is. If you see sexism in the workplace, knock it on the head and tell your boss!
Treat women as professionals
Women can be professionals, just the same as men, and questions about their life shouldn’t determine their professionalism. No children, one child, two, three or even four children, marital status, sexuality or life plans – it’s no one’s business but theirs. Stop asking, or even thinking, those questions!
Offer work flexibility
Finally, maternity leave and flexibility should be part of all workplace contracts and the flexibility around when and how this time can be taken should be discussed between the woman and her employer. Their return to work and how they will settle back into their role with their team needs to be considered. Women should never be embarrassed or judged for having children.
Both women and men need support within the workplace and it is down to the leaders and management in a company to help make this happen! If you think you are experiencing workplace discrimination or you feel you aren’t having enough support, speak to your employer so you can work together to find out why this is happening and what can be done to prevent it!