This past December, the jobs report showed a net loss of 140,000 jobs in our country. According to the National Women’s Law Center, “All of the jobs lost were women’s jobs, with women losing 156,000 jobs and men gaining 16,000.” All of the jobs lost impacted women in the workplace.
It’s a startling figure, to say the least. The fact that every single job that was lost was a woman’s job makes you wonder, why?
The idea that men are the breadwinners is still very prevalent in our society. Even though in many households women also work, men are still expected to bring home the majority of the income. In recent decades, women have come very far in terms of gender equality and closing the pay gap, but these recent job loss numbers are steps backward.
In these times, leaders in our organizations need to consider where their business stands on this issue, and whether or not they will stand up for women in the workplace. The greatest organizations and leaders will see this as an opportunity to be a champion for gender diversity and equality in the workplace and empower their female employees.
When organizations lose their female employees, they not only lose their diversity, but also lose talented, skilled employees. Having a pro-female organization will help these businesses attract fantastic talent as they speak out in support of women. As a society, we need to help these leaders figure out how to best support women in the workplace for the betterment of our economy and our country.
Here are 5 ways to create an amazing, pro-woman, company culture that will set your organization apart:
1. Create a women’s affinity group at your organization.
Creating a women’s affinity group will help your female employees support each other and help your male employee show up for their female colleagues. Women’s affinity groups can explore different ways that the organization can support them. These groups should meet biweekly or monthly in order to help female employees feel supported and heard within the organization.
2. Create mentorships within the organization.
Provide people in your organization with the opportunity to mentor one another. Pairing a new mom trying to balance her work and home life with a mother of grown children can help the new mom adjust and the older mom pass on her wisdom and experience. These types of mentorships will help female employees in particular learn from each other and support one another.
3. Promote a culture of openness and inclusivity.
Train your leaders to ensure they stay aware of the challenges going on within the organization and encourage them to bring issues to their supervisor’s attention. This will help you avoid losing valuable employees in both the short and long term. Guide your organization to help women who are re-entering the workforce. Remember that paying attention and engaging with your employees is the only way to learn what is truly upsetting them.
4. Increase flexibility within the organization.
There are simple ways to increase flexibility within your organization to prevent people from leaving. Being flexible with hours, job sharing, and providing employees with the time off they need is the best way to show flexibility in the workplace. You can be creative with your solutions. One company we work with provides Blue Apron subscriptions to help their employees better manage personal time.
5. Take action now!
Organizations and their leaders need to be proactive instead of reactive in order to “stop the bleed” and support your employees well before they decide to leave.
Here’s an acronym we use to help take some simple steps to help your organization vocally support women in the workplace and prevent your valued female employees from leaving. Just STOP!
Women in the workplace
Women in the workplace have made significant strides towards gender equality and closing the pay gap in recent decades, but during the pandemic, steps have been taken backward. 100% of jobs lost this past December were women-held jobs. Leaders need to show their support for women in the workplace by taking simple steps to spotlight the value of their female workers. This gives organizations the unique opportunity to empower women, gain respect from their female employees, and put themselves at the forefront of a social change that has been building for a century.
We know all of this is easier said than done. Reach out to us at Flynn Barrett Consulting to ask an HR question or schedule a free consultation so we can help your business support women in the workplace!