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Balance for Better: 6 Ways Companies Can Enhance Women Participation in the Workplace

Updated on Jan 07, 2020 2607 views
Balance for Better: 6 Ways Companies Can Enhance Women Participation in the Workplace

People have a gender which rubs off on the kind of job they do.

The job, in turn, has a gendered character that rubs off on the people that do them. Women are stereotyped as weak, incapable of leadership and too emotional to handle serious issues. All these have contributed to the sexual division in employment resulting in the low skill and less labour market experience of women putting them in a disadvantageous position.

The above situation has rubbed the nation of enormous contribution of women to nation building and development because a few women that have had the opportunity to be in leadership position gave an account of themselves.

In view of the above, we will examine some ways we can enhance women's participation in the workplace.

Flexible Work Arrangement

For many women, participation in the paid employment means that in effect they hold two jobs. In addition to putting in a full day at the workplace, they also have to work the "second shift" while serving as cook, housekeeper and child care providers. Many women live lives of considerable stress because they do not have time to devote to both their jobs and their families.

Flexible work arrangements when properly implemented do more than reduce some of the stress of combining work and family. It was revealed to be positively associated with higher job satisfaction, commitment to the employer and a greater state of desire to remain with the current employer.

Gender Diversity and Inclusion

Gender diversity, as it relates to a work environment, means that men and women are hired at the same rate, paid equally for equal work, and promoted at the same rate. Management in an organization should ensure that all policies from the recruitment to the hiring, compensation, and benefit do not violate the employee's right. Strict actions and sanction should be taken by the management of an organization against violators irrespective of the position in the organization.

Gender Mainstreaming

Gender Mainstreaming is not all about adding a "woman's component " or even " a gender equality component". It is not about women. It goes far beyond simply having women's projects or component in programs. Rather, it is about the experience, knowledge, and interests of women and men to bear on the development agenda. The onus is on the management to ensure that gender perspective and attention to the goal of gender equality are central to all activities, process, practices, ideologies, images, and distribution of power.

Sensitization of the Male  Employees

Most workplaces have more men than women and any majority enables privilege. The issue is that most men believe there is no gender discrimination simply because they haven't "seen it happen".

The problem is that men are not trained to recognize the signs of sexism. They don't see how asking women to take notes or do office housework like arranging for coffee and nibbles at a meeting, is inherently sexist.

What can help? Open conversations. No blaming, no penalizing, but just being open about how to recognize sexism when it happens. Even if it is for the optics, when men see how their behaviour is sexist, they will be more conscious of it.

Gender sensitizing your male employees is not only a good-to-have drill; it is crucial to develop a diverse and aware workforce and culture.

Maternity and Paternity Leave

Parents may want to devote more full time to their children for an extended period of time. Many countries, the government via policies, organization etc. address this need by replacing all or part of a worker's wage or salary for maternity or parental leaves. If nothing else, a pregnant or expectant mother can take off time from work without the fear of losing their jobs. (i.e. enjoying paid and maternity parent leave).

Coaching and Mentoring of the Female Gender

Women do have challenges in managing their career with their families. Organizing programs from time to time, to talk about how to help the women to have a successful career and a successful home. This can be done by organizing seminars, conferences and coaching centres where more experienced women in paid employment take on younger women and try to coach them on how they were able to manage their career with their home.

The organization themselves have to be part of this strategy to bring gender balance at work in order to remove the stereotype that the home belongs to the female alone and not both gender.

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