More Women In The Workplace Is Good For Business And Staff
More Women In The Workplace Is Good For Business And Staff
A new study by economists Jan Riepe and Philip Yang from the University of Tübingen in Germany has concluded that although previous research showed a company’s profitability to decrease when more female board members were introduced, when delving deeper they discovered that overall the sustainability and long-term success of a business improved because of the lower risk-taking behaviour that women brought to the table.
It’s no surprise then that there are more female CEOs and leaders now than ever before, because when there is a more even gender balance in a business, everyone wins. Let’s take a closer look at why this is and how you too can boost the number of women in your workplace to ensure the success and growth of your business.
The advantages of having more female employees
Here are just some of the benefits of having more women in your workplace:
- Increased creativity and innovation – It’s been proven that diversity in business boosts creativity and leads to more innovative ideas and problem-solving. Men and women have different experiences and backgrounds which influence their approach to business, and by challenging and collaborating with each other it leads to different ideas which can help move a business forward.
- They excel at the ‘soft skills’ – Effective communication, empathy, conflict management, adaptability, teamwork and self-awareness are usually overlooked but often the most valued traits when it comes to leadership skills, and women tend to excel in this area. Emotional intelligence is a big advantage when it comes to effective leadership.
- Women offer valuable insights – Women account for 85 percent of consumer purchases yet are poorly represented when it comes to decision makers in retail business and advertising. Tapping into the insights of both men and women can make products and services more marketable and subsequently a business more profitable.
- Female leaders are more trusted and collaborative – Women executives are perceived to be more honest and ethical than male counterparts, and are better at making deals and being more collaborative which can lead to great company success.
- Millennial women are more educated than men – There’s been a shift in recent years and now young women are the ones with the most education, making them a valuable asset to employers.
- Increased productivity and growth – Women bring different skills to the workplace and as a result have been shown to help increase overall productivity and profitability. This can actually contribute to higher incomes all round, including those of male workers.
Tips for increasing the number of women in the workplace
There are a lot of different ways to recruit and retain women in the workplace and generally boost female representation at all levels of an organisation. Here are a few examples and ideas:
- Make women leaders – Having women in senior management positions will inspire entry and mid-level female employees to work towards further career progression in the company, give them female mentors and role models to look up to, and help ‘even the balance’ among teams and programs.
- Be strong on anti-sexism – Have good sexual harassment policies in place and ensure your workplace embraces equality and is actively against sexism and bullying. It’s a good idea to let women influence the company culture too so social activities and other aspects around the office aren’t too male focused.
- Give them goals – When women have a clear advancement path in front of them, they’re more inclined to stay with a company and work harder.
- Equalise pay – Unfortunately, despite much talk on the matter, the gender pay gap is still alive and thriving in Australia. Be one of the innovators who doesn’t discriminate and make salaries the same, regardless of gender.
- Parental leave – Ensure that you have a solid parental leave program in place for both men and women and that all employees are aware of it and how to access it when required. The benefits can be huge, for example, at least 13 weeks employer-paid parental leave can halve the rate of losing female staff when they have or adopt a baby, and employer provided onsite childcare can increase the retention of female managers by almost 20 percent (source).
- Family programs – Implement other family friendly strategies such as the Corporate Care Stay In Touch Parental Leave program which can help bridge the gap between home and work for new mums while on maternity leave and encourage them to return. A child care program to help parents secure suitable childcare and have access to emergency or back-up care when required is also a great idea.
- Get real about flexibility – Leaving early on a Friday is not enough for a working mum, allow them to schedule their hours around family commitments, work from home when they want or need to, and be flexible when unexpected things happen such as children getting sick. As long as they get the work done everyone wins.
- Parenting perks – Consider offering additional ‘parenting perks’ which might appeal to mothers (and parents in general) such as a breastmilk transportation service, newborn gift packs with essentials, or even financial assistance with fertility treatments, special needs children or children’s education.
- Involve men in the discussion – Engage more male employees into conversations about female equality and the issues they face, and have male leaders be the champions for supporting females in the workplace.
- Be open about supporting women – Ensure that all of your policies and programs that benefit women are communicated effectively to all potential recruits and current employees.
Thanks to Hult for their insights on the advantages of women in the workplace which helped write this article.