Three Key Ways Companies Can Help Women Thrive
Krista Brookman is Vice President Learning and Advisory services at Catalyst. This blog post was originally published on BuildingBrave.com and is shared with permission from the author.
More companies are realizing that in order to create workplaces where women can thrive, they need to develop effective, inclusive change management practices. While we have long known that what’s good for women is good for everyone, companies are now pausing to look at the hard issues women are facing with an inclusive lens.
Changes such as flexible working options, focus on equality and inclusion in hiring, promotions and pay, and enhanced family leave and childcare, will work to not only enhance gender equity and benefit all employees but foster teams that are more diverse, innovative, agile and resilient.
A reimagined inclusive workplace for women should look at three strategic areas:
Culture of Community –
Organizations that foster gender, racial and ethnically diverse teams and are listening to opinions, understanding and addressing the emotional tax women of color are feeling and experiencing, recognizing lived experiences in the workplace and outside in communities, revisiting policy, processes, and practices, and embodying trust and psychological safety will be able to better assess and address the volatility of uncertainty, its impact on women and create cultures that work better for women and everyone to thrive.
Conviction in Character –
The one-trick pony is out. Multi-dimensional, compassionate, empathetic leaders who are able to demonstrate a broad range of skills to manage uncertainty, is the new norm. Leaders who understand and demonstrate leading inward and leading outward behaviors like accountability, allyship, curiosity, and humility are critical to developing an inclusive workplace. Women can be essential role-models in influencing and demonstrating inclusive leadership behaviors in their workplaces in order to help everyone thrive.
Courage in Communication –
In an era where silence has been sidelined, women have the opportunity now more than ever to share their voice. Women are asking the hard questions that will make change and a difference. Women can be active upstanders and supportive of each other when they share their voice. For women, particularly women of color, this can create safe opportunities to share important perspectives and lived experiences, and for white women to be supportive.
As women work to survive today standing on the fragile ice that is the world and the impacts of uncertainty that rest beneath it, it is important to both recognize the immense challenges women are facing, honor the experiences of today in order to learn and grow. Women’s progress won’t pause and these experiences will be the foundation to transform our workplaces and make a better place for women and everyone to thrive tomorrow and the years to come.