An empowered woman, can inspire and empower many others in her wake. Not just other women, but even men. For one, female trainees are found to be more effective than the male trainees, female managers reduce worker absenteeism, increase efficiency and also impact male managers to have lower rates of quality defects (Source: IGC Researchers). Additionally, women bring work-life balance to the organizations, environmental awareness, and the participation of all team members.
Women are usually goal centric and lead and hold people accountable for their jobs. They are often more clear, specific and train better managers. They are therefore, more equipped to support teams with their leadership qualities. Women in general, improve day-to-day work experiences by bringing in flexibility and mental-health support.
Not only that, women aid creativity and development of newer ideas that are key drivers of sustainable growth. Companies that see better results are those that have a diverse set of leadership including both men and women from different backgrounds with equal opportunities to voice their ideas and opinions. An organization with such a diverse mix initiates a new influx of growth in the organization.
While women empowerment has seen much improvement over the last few decades, there is still scope for much improvement. While we see a lot more number of women working in organizations, there is high trend in women either switching jobs or altogether quitting their workplaces. According to a research conducted by McKinsey, Women in Workplace 2022, women face more stronger headwinds than men at workplaces do, women are overworked, underpaid and often underrecognized for their potential. Therefore, work culture and company’s policies can play a very significant role in retaining women in their organizations.
According to the International Labour Union, there are five key areas where companies can contribute to women retention by enhancing their work experience and improving work culture – “equal pay for equal value of work, prevention and elimination of violence and harassment, creating a harmonious work-life balance for both women and men, equal representation of women in business and management roles, and finally investment in a future of workplace that works for women”.
Off late there is a declining trend towards women willing to join the labour force. To attract more female candidates, organizations have to establish an “inclusivity image” by creating gender neutral jobs for all kinds of positions, the job postings need to reflect the same, and the salary information for the job needs be transparent so that there is no doubt on any kind of gender-biased pay. Gender bias can further be avoided during the interview process if an unbiased panel is elected and trained for sensitivity at the recruitment process with a structured interview process that relies on pre-specified interview rounds.
Additionally, organizations that offer perks and benefits relevant to women such as working in a hybrid model, flexible timings, on-site day care facility, healthcare coverage, or safe pick-ups and drops, will encourage more women applicants.
An organization that help women employees develop their careers and shows interest in their overall career advancement by giving them the credit and recognition for good work, offering support and feedback, checking on your personal well-being have higher chances of employee retention.
Last but not the least, respectful behaviour towards women employees and adopting an official Code of Conduct towards women employees goes a long way in enhancing the Organization’s work culture. Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act and Rules (POSH Act) enacted by the Government of India in the year 2013 asks all employers to comply to a set of measures to prevent, prohibit and redress sexual harassment at the workplace. Under POSH Act, it becomes mandatory for businesses to become POSH compliant that will ensure safe workplaces that are free of sexual misconduct and saves companies from the horrors of workplace sexual harassment claims – be it an employee, client, visitor, vendor, intern, trainee or probationer and hence, adequate measures that ensure POSH compliance must be implemented even if the organization has no female employees.
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