Women in business already play a huge role in helping companies around the country grow and thrive. However, issues like the gender pay gap and the glass ceiling, a cultural phenomenon which prevents people from advancing despite their qualifications due to discrimination, are still very real, as evidenced by recent studies. Another campaign is also highlighting a ‘second glass ceiling’, which discusses reasons women might be more likely to leave the workforce earlier than retirement age.
Empowering women in the workplace forms a broad set of practices that aim to tackle these issues, enabling women to overcome these boundaries and advance their careers. Here’s some practices that can help you to create opportunities for women in the workplace.
Ensuring that women are involved in mentorship and development programmes can help lead to more opportunities for them in the future, helping them to achieve more success in their careers and advance to more senior leadership positions over time. These mentorship schemes help with gradually eroding the glass ceiling, as skilled women are able to move into leadership positions at a higher rate, and earlier in their careers.
Cultivating a culture that celebrates the leadership qualities of women and dissuades common sexist reactions can go a long way to helping women be more open about their ambitions. Ambitious women are far more likely to be reacted to negatively than their male counterparts with similarly lofty goals, so it’s important your company culture celebrates ambition rather than penalises it.
Give business women chances to prove themselves
There is a kind of unconscious bias that manifests in the workplace where men are far more likely to be chosen to lead more ambitious projects. If you are in a management or leadership position, try to spread these kinds of opportunities evenly across your team, and give special consideration to whether women may be right for these roles, helping to mitigate unconscious bias and contributing to women empowerment.
Speak openly about salaries
Open salary discussion and listing on job adverts has a major impact on reducing the gender pay gap. It helps business women to negotiate more plainly, and they can share negotiation best practice with others in their organisation.
The ‘menopause in business’ champion Elaine Harries joins us on our podcast to discuss empowering women and one of the key parts of the second glass ceiling. You can listen to the episode here.