We all know the frustrating history, that women have been held back from promotions and advancement while also being paid less than their male counterparts for the same work.
The good news is that times are changing and women are becoming more confident and chipping away at the remaining portions of the glass ceiling of their careers.
As a manager, you have a role to play in making sure the women who work in your company, and on your team, feel supported and empowered to pursue their goals.
Here are a few tips on how best to be a supportive, empowering leader for the women on your team:
Lead by example.
If you want to come across as a manager who supports professional women, hire them. Make sure women are included on leadership committees, in meetings, in positions of authority. This is a great example of putting your support where it is easily and clearly visible; you’re not just paying lip service to the importance of supporting women but you’re making it happen in real time.
Ask for their input.
Make a point of seeking out the opinions, thoughts, contributions and suggestions from the women in your company. Actively ask for their input. If a meeting or conversation starts to be dominated by men, gently but forcefully make sure women are contributing. Back up their ideas. Affirm and show appreciation for their comments.
Create a mentorship program.
It can feel intimidating or frustrating for women who are trying to balance their careers with their personal lives. That’s not the type of thing men are ever questioned about or for which they have their choices criticized. To help provide and show support, work to create a mentorship program at your company wherein women can meet and talk together, without judgment, to work through solutions and gain new perspectives on their lives and careers.
Actively promote work-life balance.
As a manager, you lead by example when you share information about mental health resources, the importance of taking paid time off, and then utilizing those programs and benefits yourself. Many women feel they have little choice but to put in extra hours, forgo time with their family and are unable to ask for any kind of help when they need it because they fear it will negatively reflect on their commitment to the job and careers. Show them that’s not the case. Encourage self-care and a strong work-life balance — all your employees will appreciate that!
Mind the pay gap.
We recognize Equal Pay Day in March — that’s when Caucasian women catch up to the salary earned by a Caucasian man with the same job from the previous year. To put it simply: Women still don’t always earn the same pay as their male counterparts. As a manager, you can work to rectify this! Make sure that any job posted lists the salary and, when an offer is made, ensure that the candidate gets all they’re worth, regardless of gender, because they’ve earned a salary that matches their qualifications and expertise.
Be the kind of leader you’d want your mother, sister, wife, daughter or best friend to work for, someone who supports and encourages them, values their opinion, trusts their instincts and appreciates their contributions. Watch their confidence grow as they become the great leaders they’re meant to be!
If you’d like additional advice or if you’re looking to hire a new position quickly, call Debbie’s Staffing. Our experts are ready to help you find great candidates that meet the requirements you need and we can find women who would be strong additions to your team! Contact Debbie’s Staffing today and let’s get to work.