What's the Wave?

Women in the Workplace

Every year on August 26th we celebrate Women’s Equality Day. Originally this day was set out to celebrate the 19th amendment being signed, which prohibited states and the federal government from denying somebody the right to vote based on sex. Over the years, this day has grown to represent so much more. It celebrates women and the hard work they’ve put into being represented across all organizations all over the country for decades. This past year has been particularly difficult for working women because of Covid-19.

Women at Work: COVID Addition

There has always been a gender gap and challenges when it comes to women in corporate America, but Covid has changed everything. Women, especially mothers, women with disabilities, women in senior leadership positions, and women of different races and ethnicities have faced challenging circumstances. We are now over a year into COVID-19 and corporate America is at cross-roads when it comes to gender diversity in the workplace. Due to Covid, “As many as two million women are considering taking a leave of absence or leaving the workforce altogether.”[1] So, what can we do to support women in corporate America?

[1] “Women in the Workplace 2020: A Crisis Is Looming in Corporate America.” LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company, McKinsey & Company, womenintheworkplace.com/.

Support the Women in your Office

Amplify Women’s Voices

  • Offer support in meetings when women speak up and have great ideas
  • Let women know that they are heard
  • Give women recognition and encouragement
  • Invite other notable women to come speak at your company (this allows women to create a network of women who inspire and support one another)
  • Create a space for open discussions and eliminate any biases towards women

Provide mentorships and promote connections

  • Encourage women to connect and network on all forms of social
  • Create mentorship programs to help promote growth
  • Encourage women to attend conferences and networking events either virtually or in person (Covid restrictions permitting)
  • Encourage women to reach out to other women in their field

Give women opportunities

  • Celebrate women and their strengths
  • Recognize the hard work they are putting in
  • If a woman shows extraordinary potential, support them. Even if her experience is lacking a little
  • Give them access to recourses

Flexibility is Key: Women sometimes worry about what starting a family could mean for their career. Whether it be delaying their career advancement or worrying about working set hours because of family responsibilities, having flexibility can make all the difference in the world.

  • Flexibility can help eliminate any negative emotions that may come from having to balance work and family life
  • Having the power to create a schedule that works for you allows you to
    • Creates more opportunities to pay attention to your task instead of being distracted
    • Increases productivity
  • Flexibility promotes better mental health

Conclusion

Covid has allowed companies to rethink the fundamentals of their work environment as well as their company values. It is important to be a company that appreciates and supports one another other, especially the female employees. When you support one another, you create an environment that is sustainable for employees.

Corporate America needs to be proactive when thinking about the wellbeing and mental health of its female employees. In the past year and a half, a lot of challenges have come up. Once again, women are rising to the occasion, making their voices heard, continuing to work towards equality in the workplace

 

 

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