Making Women Feel Included In The Workplace

4/13/2016

While women face numerous hurdles in the business world, organizational leaders and managers can make a difference within their individual spheres of influence. For leaders and managers, working toward gender parity within their organizations is a question of engaging and empowering the women who work for them. One way is to make everyone feel valued and included, which leaders can do by acknowledging the need for flexible work arrangements.

Employer brand, or the value that a company offers as a workplace, is vital in today’s knowledge economy, where professionals are paid for their intellectual contributions and expertise, not for their physical presence in the office. This means that flexibility has to come in as many ways as possible to attract the best talent.

According to Cisco’s 2014 Connected World Technology Report, more than 60 percent of worldwide employees report that their current or future job searches will not be limited to their hometown, or even their home country. This means the fight for talent is a global one, and the flexible and inclusive workplace with high engagement will be very attractive to the next company superstar.

Company leaders are now asking themselves how they can make people feel valued and included in remote work arrangements, keep engagement high, and allow for gender parity at the same time.

As more female employees take on flexible working arrangement or change roles to suit a new life focus, their organizations’ leaders need to find ways to help them move their careers forward and establish and maintain the networks needed within their field.  

Doing this also fosters a sense of pride and belonging inside the organization, in which not only do the employees feel accommodated, but they feel they are a valued part of something bigger, something they are proud to be associated with.

Achieving gender parity in an organization is about creating a culture that promotes equality for all genders. When organizational leaders make an effort to make women feel valued and included by giving them flexibility, they bolster a sense of pride in the organization, which aids retention and engagement.