How Corporates can help in empowering women!!

Society at large, have made a good progress in last few decades to establish gender neutrality but still a long way to go because it’s not enough. I am sure you must be at pain to see women fighting for something which is rightfully belongs to them…Respect and Dignity. Why is it taking so much time to bring gender neutrality in the society?

Do you know, corporate world has a huge responsibility on their shoulders because they have the resources and capabilities to bring gender neutrality at workplace. You must be wondering why I am talking about workplace whereas gender biasness is a societal problem because corporate world has the power to influence the whole society. Corporates can take few very simple steps that will help gender equality at the workplace and influence the society in a positive way

  • Hiring – During the onslaught on the Taj Mumbai, 31 people died and 28 were hurt, but the hotel received only praise the day after. Its guests were overwhelmed by employees’ dedication to duty, their desire to protect guests without regard to personal safety, and their quick thinking. In a study “The ordinary heroes of the Taj”, Harvard Business school found that HR’s hire employee after closely studying the behavior of the candidate. Leaders in the corporate world must push for unbiased hiring. One of my friends was rejected in the interview because she was just married, and recruiter assumed that she will be soon plan for starting the family. Assumptions like this must be avoided in the interview. Managers purely need to hire individual on merits. Unbiased hiring will be key to success in empowering woman. Similarly, they also evaluate people behavior to know their attitudes towards women. It will help in resolving many problems related to woman biasness at workplace.
  • Creating Women role models at workplace– Role models inspire others to chart their path to glory. Woman leaders must be promoted across the organization and their success stories needs to be shared during meetings, trainings, social media pages of the organization. Some may argue that its happening but there is a catch here which normally organization overlook while sharing success stories. Do you know, most of the time, they share success stories of woman leaders who are on top of leadership group? but I am suggesting sharing stories of woman leaders who are at mid-level management or at second and third hierarchy of management. This will help in motivating woman working in the frontline to work harder and imbibe those success. Do you know, In general a front line employee finds very difficult to connect with the someone who is at the top of leadership group and inclines to ignore the story.
  • Encourage woman to join the workforce after break- At times, women have to take break from work due to multiple reasons like maternity, baby care etc. After gap, when they wish to comeback to join work, they face rejection because they are not equipped with latest skills, technology and process required for doing the work. In general, Organization don’t encourage people to join the workforce after a gap of few years. They must make compromises in salary, job profile to have get an entry in the corporate world. Sometimes, even then they are not able to clear the interview. I fully understand that organization should hire people who have the capabilities to perform the role offered to them. After all, they are not in business for charity. But I believe organizations, especially large one must create online training modules where aspirant can train themselves and acquire new skills. It will be win-win situation for both the aspirant & the organization. Company will get the right kind of employee who is well verse with the skills, system and processes of the organization and employee will get the job. That’s the real woman empowerment corporates can gift to the women. If you need help on how to restart the career after gap, please read my article…. Restarting life in corporate world! – ModernWazir
  • Flexible working- Many women have to leave job because of struggle in managing work and home at the same time especially if they are living in nuclear family. Corporates have taken steps of increased maternity leave to support woman at workplace. Is maternity leave being sufficient for managing a balance between work and home, I don’t feel so. In 2019, I had to manage my kid without my wife for three months and I can tell you, I found myself all over the place and I can’t imagine how working woman managing both work and home every day. Corporate must introduce more inclusive principles of leave, holiday and especially WFH. I fully understand that extra leave or holiday will cost the organization but in era where we discovered that WFH is a viable option, why not to gift woman few extra days to work from home to support her family and remain committed to work.
  • Managing financial decisions- One of the reasons of biasness in the society towards women is because woman don’t manage finances. After talking to many women, I concluded that most of the women leave personal financial decisions for the spouse’s or for the parents. I never understood the reason why because few are working excellently in managing finances of the company but when it comes to managing personal finances, they leave these decisions to their spouses or parents. I bet you on this, the day woman starting to manage personal finances and investments like mutual funds, insurance and bank accounts, there will be a big shift in change of mindset of the society. I request each woman to slowly started managing your money and then you will witness a shift in the mindset of the people. Corporates can help by running trainings programs on how to manage investments.
  • A robust Diversity and Inclusion program– One Day is not enough to celebrate the power of a women. We must accept that its mindset changes that organization are focusing which will help all in achieving gender neutrality at workplace. Organization must focus on organizing more & more D&I trainings, workshop on regularly. Also, they must adopt zero tolerance for any biasness at workplace. D&I principles must not remain a piece of paper of process book only to be displayed on notice board.

Let’s remember one thing women just wants equality in the society and empowering women is key for building the future, we all wish to have in our life. Wishing all a very happy women’s day!!

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