She works hard, pays her bills. She’s independent and confident. So when you see her, know that’s all her. She is not the kept, but one who does the keeping. Such is the description of a working class superwoman in the world. Close to 20% of the board positions in S&P 500 companies is held by women. It is a proven fact that a company with high gender diversity has higher returns on equity, higher valuations, better stock performance, and higher payouts of dividends. One of the fastest ways of increasing GDP of a country is getting more and more women into the workforce.
While companies across the world are working towards equal representation in the boardroom, Indian companies are still struggling with increasing their count. So how do you attract these rockstars to your company?
When a woman creates a life, honor that, support her.
Honor the reason we all exist. Give extended paid maternity leaves, options for work from home and extended support to expecting mothers. Company creches and flexible working hours for women with newborns/toddlers make ease off their worries and they can concentrate better on their work. Adoption leave policies by many companies are also creating ideal workplace conditions for women.
Let equality prevail; in all senses
Value the amount of sincerity and hard work women put in . Value their opinions and ideas that they bring to the table. And most importantly value their work equal to that of the opposite sex. If you respect their work they will respect your company back. Women should be given equal opportunities and participation from the floor to the boardroom. Have a transparent evaluation and promotion policy for the both sexes.
Don’t find, make more leaders
Teach your women employees to dream big, set idols by appointing the deserving women candidates to the C-suites. Provide them career counseling, exclusive women programs, and mentorship programs. These programs help women trace their career path within an organization.
Incentivize the referrals
With an increasing number of women climbing the competitive corporate ladder, companies are leaving no stone unturned to hire more female talent. Companies even offer existing employees additional bonuses for referring a female employee. All women’s hiring drives by companies like Mu Sigma have shown the world, how to get it right.
Educate and mandate
Leaders need to understand what constitutes sexual harassment and provide sexual harassment training to their entire staff. That includes women who need to be able to identify the behavior when it happens to them or to other women and raise voice against it. Strict anti-sexual harassment policies and employee training make the workplace safer and more comfortable for women.
Hillary Clinton, whom we would’ve liked to see as US’ president says,“Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world.” And to harness this talent source, we need to make some amendments, amendments in our present work culture and policies. Only then can terms like Gender Equality and Sustainable Development exist.