Studies reveal that gender diversity is the key to a successful workplace. Ensuring equal representation of women in the workplace and providing them with equal rights can have a positive impact on the organization. As per data, Fortune 500 companies with the highest representation of women on boards perform better than companies with a less number of women on board. Having more females in the workplace has various positive benefits, including job satisfaction, less burnout, and more meaningful work. With the increasing number of women in the workforce, there is a need to consider what women want at work.
What Women Want
Many companies struggle to address the issue of gender equality and are not able to meet the needs of women in the workplace. Previous research and discussions have highlighted the below-mentioned needs of women. Let us discuss and understand how organizations can maintain a gender-equal workplace.
Flexible Working Hours
Women in the workplace often deal with the gender pay gap because of their lesser hours. A flexible working schedule becomes a challenge for many females, especially after marriage. Besides this, the outbreak of COVID-19 impacted how women managed their schedules. Studies revealed that women faced higher depression and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms after COVID-19. This is one of the reasons why more women have started demanding flexible working hours.
A flexible schedule not only helps a woman maintain a healthy work-life balance but also helps in retaining their talent. When women are unsatisfied with the working hours, they switch or quit their roles. Quitting the job can be a worse situation for females as they have a long history of fighting for their rights. Therefore, it makes sense to allow female professionals to work flexibly and provide them with more excellent opportunities.
When more companies allow female workers to work flexibly, it promotes them and helps them gain trust in the organization. This helps in maintaining employee loyalty and leads to higher employee satisfaction.
Better Stability and Job Satisfaction
COVID-19 impacted the progress of women in the workplace. Loss of employment affected the economy and made it difficult for them to jump back again. According to studies, it was a loss of $800 billion in wages women lost during COVID-19. This event comprises single mothers who are the only source of income for their families. Females at work face more challenges in finding roles that suit them and help them stay satisfied. This is one of the reasons why more women look for job satisfaction and stability.
The job security of female employees results in increased employee engagement and keeps them productive. On the other hand, instability can lead to stress and anxiety and pressure a woman to perform their best. Managers and leaders should provide such levels of stability to women and help them progress in the workplace. Job security makes female employees feel valued and encourage them to contribute to the betterment of the organization.
Read Also: The Female Perspective on Job Satisfaction
Ability to Progress Despite Breaks
Building their careers after a marriage or a pregnancy break is one of the biggest challenges most women face. Women at work want these issues to be addressed and resolved at the earliest possible. It is necessary for managers and hiring professionals to look at the skill set of a woman rather than focusing too much on a career break. In certain situations, career breaks are essential to recharge the mind and be ready for new challenges.
Most female workers are often penalized for choosing flexible working hours and find it more pressurizing to work under such circumstances. Besides this, women are repeatedly asked to prove themselves. Understand that women have the same level of competency as compared to men. Hiring managers should try to understand the reason behind the break and take steps to understand it properly.
Being Heard and Valued
Building a diverse and inclusive workplace is not easy. Companies are taking different initiatives to provide equal opportunities to men and women. However, they often complain of not being heard and valued at the workplace, which impacts their job satisfaction. If we talk about what a woman needs in the workplace, they demand to be heard and valued. Pay attention to their perspectives and opinion. Females are more empathetic and have different thought processes. A female will act and relate differently. This change must be implemented by allowing women equal rights to participate in any conversation.
More Leadership Opportunities
Women have faced gaps in their salaries, raises, and promotions. Various organizations still suppress women’s rights by not providing them equal rights. The workplace environment is changing, and women these days want equal leadership opportunities. Studies reveal that organizations often expect female workers to be more qualified than men, even for the same position or role. This notion needs to be changed, and the right person should be given more opportunities, irrespective of gender.
Fostering an Inclusive Culture
Embracing a gender-inclusive and ethnicity-inclusive workplace is never easy. Every Woman is a champion and tends to support each other. Female leaders and professionals are always boasting about an inclusive workplace. They expect more companies to take such initiatives. Keep your egos aside and respect the pool of talents.
Women in the workplace want everyone to be more empathetic and approachable. They aim to build an inclusive environment and expect higher job satisfaction. Organizations should address these concerns and help create a better work environment.
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