Female employees are- and can be- workplace superstars too. However, men and women don’t always get the same treatment in the corporate world. While there are many female CEOs today, many more are having to quit their jobs, and find new ones due to inflexibilities at the workplace.
Sometimes, a little help goes a long way. A few steps to make sure that women get the wee bit of help they need, can make them your company’s superstars. Here are a few of the problems women face at the workplace and some suggestions to solve them.
1. Flexible Schedule:.
Many female employees don’t ask for much, except for a more flexible schedule. Most women have errands to run, household chores to take care of, and perhaps even children to keep an eye on. According to studies, many women would in fact take a pay cut for a more flexible schedule.
Allow women to work-from-home. Telecommuting can result in employees being as productive, or perhaps even more, as when they work from the office. Provide paternal leave, so that they have their spouse’s support and help in taking care of their child.
Provide them time to leave the office, and pick up their kids from school, if they have to. As mentioned in the HuffPost article, most are back at their systems, ready to work, after the task is done. Have a ‘Period Policy.’ Periods are not an illness, but sometimes they can be very painful, and super uncomfortable. Have a Period Policy, where female employees can take a couple or so days off, and menstruate in peace.
Providing flexibility to willing and skilled female employees can only be good for the company. Not only will they be more likely to perform better if the company is flexible, they’re less likely to quit their jobs and take their talents elsewhere.
2. Let them Speak:.
There are many instance in meetings, when men take over a meeting, interrupt a female employee’s presentation or speech, and of male-appropriation of ideas. Why? Because women are not given the chance to speak up. If they’re too loud, they’re labeled as bossy and aggressive, and man-ish. If they don’t speak up, they’re considered to be too weak and timid, and their male counterparts end up taking credit for all work done.
In meetings, try giving everyone a turn to speak. Make sure it’s a no-interruption meeting, wherein people are not allowed to interrupt a speaker- especially a female one- until after they’re done speaking. Having a Q and A session at the end is bound to be more productive, rather than cutting a presentation and unsettling the speaker.
If a male employee constantly interjects while a female one is speaking, the person-in-charge at the meeting should stop him, and ask the female employee to go on. And ladies, support each other. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with banding together and making sure that you and your female coworkers get a chance to voice your opinions. And lastly, rope in a male employee to help you out. There’s no shame in asking for help, at all.
3. Better Behavior:.
Male managers and supervisors can sometimes be hostile and rude towards their female employees. And many times, end up making some misogynistic comment towards them. Sexism at the workplace is common. And it can effect the women’s work performance too. You wouldn’t to constantly hear and face hostility just because of your gender, would you?
Have short presentations and anti-sexual harassment classes for all your employees. Some may not even realize they’re being inconsiderate towards their female coworkers. Educate them. But, do it in a way where they actually pay attention to what you’re trying to say. A boring and dry two-hour presentation on the subject will only have everyone dozing off.
Furthermore, create an environment, where women can seek help in case of harassment. Don’t immediately go on the defensive, and start a victim-shaming campaign. It’s not good for your employees, or the image of your company.
So these are three major problems that women face in the workplace, as we see it. Is your company taking steps to ensure these problems don’t arise? Are you listening to your female employees and coworkers and making sure they’re able to perform their best?