In 2020, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics records shows that women held 50.04 percent of the jobs in the workforce. Against the backdrop of historical documents, this number is surprising. In the 1950s, only one out of three women has a job. According to economic experts, this number is due to demand from empowered female consumers.
Industries that gained the most female workers are health care, retail, and education. Statistics primarily categorize education and health services as female-dominated. However, numbers also show that women have also started to occupy jobs in male-dominated professions. This includes mining, logging, transportation, and even industrial construction companies.
As far as women and employment are concerned, experts see no turning back. The continued growth in women’s employment calls for the adoption of specific policies in the workforce. Here is how you can make your company safer and friendlier to women employees:
1. Implement Flexible Policies for Work-Life Balance
Childcare is one of the many reasons employers refrained from hiring women. Most of the time, women choose work that allows them to have a flexible schedule. They work shorter hours and closer to home to look after children.
You can address this issue by allowing work-from-home setups. The pandemic has proven that some work does not require presence in the office. Aside from children, both male and female workers can also have sick family members.
Fashion brand Levi Strauss announced in 2020 that they are adopting a new policy to address this. Every worker is entitled to eight weeks of paid leave every year. This paid family leave offers flexibility to employees. They don’t need to worry about choosing between their job or taking care of an ill family member.
Another notable company is Brain & Company. They offer eight weeks of paid parental leave for new parents. They also have mentoring programs open for women. Brain & company also allows flexible working setups for mothers and caregivers.
2. Hire More Women
Hiring more women is one of the most obvious ways to make the workplace female-friendly. Ensure that the recruitment process caters to all genders equally. You can follow this directive by hiring the same number of men and women.
To hire more women, Intel has a referral program. This is to attract women and underrepresented minorities to work with them. Employees who successfully referred women and minorities for a job get cash bonuses of as much as $4,000.
However, this doesn’t need to stop during the recruitment process.
3. Make Programs Available to All Genders
Include all genders in promotion schemes and mentoring programs. All opportunities must be available to everybody regardless of gender.
You can learn a thing or two from NBCUniversal. They have a career program for returning professionals. This program is open to men and women who have been out of the workforce for personal reasons like caregiving. As long as they have relevant professional experience, they are eligible to apply.
PayPal also has this initiative through their Recharge Program. It is a 16-week paid boot camp. This program aims to help professionals transition back into the workforce smoothly.
HERE Technologies have an initiative connecting women employees to mentors and sponsors. They also hold an annual event where women employees can share professional and personal insights.
4. Consider Everybody’s Well-being in the Workplace
Make sure your look after your employees’ mental health and overall well-being. Provide training and programs that will support their emotional needs. Pinterest’s employees enjoy access to massage, meditation, and yoga classes for on-site work. Their Bravery tool allows employees to talk about career performance and work relationships. Canva also boasts of programs that cater to employees’ health and well-being. They send care packages and health allowance to their work-from-home employees regularly.
5. Have Strict Anti-sexual Harassment Policies
One of women’s biggest fears in the workplace is sexual harassment. Coming forward is difficult for victims. Management must be stern in putting up anti-harassment policies. Review your company’s complaint procedures. Make sure that it allows safe reporting and encourages open communication.
Provide training to all employees and managers. This should teach everyone what sexual harassment is. Everybody in the company should know what specific acts count as harassment. Make laws and punishments clear to everybody.
Discuss everybody’s right to a safe workplace. Ensure that you will not let go of any harassment act easily. Investigate each complaint properly and take just actions once proven.
These policies aim to make the workplace better for women. However, everybody in the company will benefit from these in the long run. Implementing these gender-equal rules will make your workplace more productive and accepting of people of all walks of life.