When the coronavirus spread like wildfire last year, it shook almost every aspect of society. Hurriedly, we all needed to adapt to this “new normal” scheme of things. As the pandemic changed everything from living arrangement to employment, one of the worst-hit sectors were women.
Though it is mostly men who succumbed to the virus, women had to carry the thrust of disproportionate societal implications of this current health crisis.
As women on the front lines have to risk their health and lives fighting the deadly disease, many are also facing increased domestic violence and sexual abuse at home. The risks of being impacted by staff reduction are likely to happen among women employees.
Furthermore, women are more willing than men to sacrifice their jobs if a need arises, especially amid this pandemic. Should the household need someone to act as a caregiver, a homeschool teacher, or a housekeeper, most women can handle the job.
Modern Women At Work
These days, it is not uncommon to see women holding executive roles. However, the societal expectation that women should be well-rounded — perfectly juggling career and family life — remains. To put it, being a working woman today is really challenging.
All these are exacerbated with the lockdown and shelter-in-place regulations. Now, women had to be excellent in their full-time jobs at home while being exceptional in handling family life.
Thus, aside from the issues of workplace discrimination and salary gap, organizations should be proactive in empowering women in the workplace setting.
1. Be Kind & Nurture Friendships
Female rivalry has always been a favorite concept of society. From movies and television shows to celebrity gossip and social media viral posts, we all love to hear a good old story of one woman fighting another. In fact, a lot of networks had made tons of money off of this concept.
One good explanation why this concept continually sells off is this: We have this subconscious belief that there is not enough seat at the proverbial table of success. Thus, we need to fight our way to get a spot.
Thus, it is all too common to see women in the workplace setting tearing each other down to surpass one another. Even men in the corporate world encourage this toxic culture.
We all know that female rivalry runs counter to woman empowerment. Women have been struggling for many centuries to be regarded as equal to men, yet look where we are now. This culture of female rivalry is one reason why the opposite sex does not take seriously our advocacy of empowering all women.
Let us start within ourselves to change this debilitating culture. Be approachable, be helpful, be kind to your female co-worker. A warm smile can go a long way.
2. Connect Them With the Right People
There is this saying that you are the sum of the five people you always spend time with, which is very relevant in the professional world. Surrounding yourself with good mentors and a sturdy support system helps you become a better version of yourself.
With this in mind, help your female coworkers connect with leaders and professionals who are experts in their fields. Introduce them to resources such as books, research, and other online materials that can help them grow and improve in their careers.
Encourage them to join mentoring seminars, group facilitation training, and other programs and workshops that help enhance their leadership abilities. Doing this gives them a confidence boost that is of great help as they climb the corporate ladder.
Many deserving women in the corporate world are just in the background because they do not have enough courage to speak up for themselves, or they have often been undervalued. Doing these nudges of encouragement helps dispel this doubt they have upon themselves.
3. Celebrate Differences & Strength
The value of praise and recognition could never be overlooked in the corporate world. Regardless of your gender or sexual orientation, you need to be recognized for a job well done. In fact, most workers leave an organization because leaders and even peers fail to give credit for their efforts.
Women employees are particularly prone to this situation of being undervalued. But you can change this starting with yourself. A word of praise and thank you from time to time to a female employee helps boost her morale. Allow your female workers to express their ideas and let them take credit for them.
4. Elevate Women in Leadership Roles
We need women in management and executive positions. Diversifying leadership offers fresh and new perspectives that traditional male dons usually overlook. Having a diverse team in top management increases the likelihood of coming up with better and more sustainable decisions for the company.
Women in leadership positions pave the way to more thorough discussion and identification of discrimination issues in the workplace environment.
This current economic and health crisis is an opportune time to look at the issues surrounding female employees. Your organization can take a stand to change typical narratives and overthrow gender stereotypes.