Women consume most of the products and services. Therefore, if they are involved in leadership and increase participation in decision-making, there can be a tremendous amount of change in consumer trends, and household spendings of family welfare, such as childcare, apparel, consumer durables, education, financial services, food, and healthcare sectors.
Empowering women is crucial to have a sustainable society. By integrating women in the workplace can bring balance in the business world. They are underrepresented in Business despite knowing that women can help the business grow if they are given the right tools. In a male-dominant workplace, women around the world struggle to get recognition for their hard work and often in the receiving end of harassment.
They are considered to be subordinate and are not given the opportunities. But with the changing time and development in the economy, the idea has become outdated. Many business owners are starting to integrate more women in their workplaces and it has helped them to move forward in a positive direction. Business owners can empower by considering the following points to move forward their business in positive growth.
Inclusiveness: How many women leaders are there in your company? Can you remember the last time you had a discussion about inclusivity or gender equality except on March 8? Think about it. Having an inclusive environment in the workplace can have an impact on the healthy and economic development of the company.
Appreciation: Regardless of which gender employees belong to, appreciating what they are contributing to the workplace can be a good thing to increase their productivity. They feel valued when employers show appreciation for their work. Business owners can make sure their female employees are appreciated for what they are working.
Encouragement: When employees are encouraged for the achievement of their work, it works as a fuel to accomplish their work faster promoting productivity and growth in the business. Encouragement can also be in other forms such as identifying employees’ capabilities and giving direction to focus on them. This can help a business to boost its growth in the long term.
Recognition: As a Business owner in a fast-changing business world, it is important to recognize work that has impacted your business and grow in a positive direction. It works for both the gender in the workplaces. Giving recognition allows employees to feel appreciated. It is beneficial for both the employees and business owners.
Safe environment: Workplaces need to have a safe environment. Employers need to understand that their employees have a life outside of their work. It is a fact and employers can encourage their employees to pursue their interests and have co-curricular activities in the workplace to engage them. Business owners can attend to employees’ needs by allowing them to pursue their interests. Employers can improve their business by promoting a safe environment for the employees.
Leadership: Mismanagement or micromanagement can have a negative impact on a company. Employees who have been in such events allow them to think about what they can do to avoid work-related issues. By giving leadership roles to such employees and employees who have leadership qualities can bring a huge change in the economy as well as the social growth of the company.
Engagement: Some of the employers struggle to engage their employees in their work due to many reasons. It can be due to a lack of motivation and inadequate education in the field. This issue can be solved by providing the right tools to the employees. Workshops, seminars and training courses can be provided to women employees to help them grow.
Participation: Employers can involve women employees to participate in important issues at work. This will ensure that they are an important part of the company. Business owners can empower women in the workplace by involving them in making decisions.
United Nations Women in partnership with United Nations Global Compact released a practical guide Women Empowerment Principles subtitled Equality Means Business for corporate and private sector businesses to help them empower women for the sustainable and economic growth of the business. The guide book talks about the importance of corporate actions to promote women empowerment and gender equality in business. It focuses on the following guidelines:
- Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality. It includes having policies to support gender and human rights, goals, and targets for gender equality and include progress as a factor in Managers’ performance reviews. Companies should ensure gender sensitivity in their policies.
- Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and non-discrimination. This means: pay equal remuneration to both men and women, have policies to ensure equality and free from gender discrimination, gender-sensitive recruitment, sufficient participation of women in decision making, etc.
- Ensure the health, safety, and well-being of all women and men workers. Provide a safe environment and protection from hazardous materials, potential risks including reproductive health. Establish zero-tolerance policies from all kinds of violence at work including verbal and physical harassment at work. Respect employees’ time off for medical help and counseling for themselves.
- Promote education, training and professional development for women. Encourage women to take nontraditional roles and invest in workplace policies that ensure the advancement of women at all levels and across business areas.
- Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women. Expand business with women entrepreneurs, adopt gender-sensitive solutions to credit and lending barriers. Ask business partners to respect the company’s policy towards gender equality, inclusion and respect the dignity of women in all company materials. Ensure company materials are not used for illegal purposes.
- Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy. Show your commitment to gender equality and women empowerment. Find ways to support gender equality, inclusion and women empowerment. Promote women’s leadership in the workforce. Ensure sufficient representation of women in community consultation.
- Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality. Include gender markers in reporting obligations. Establish indicators that quantify the inclusion of women at all levels and have transparent governance of the company policies both internally and externally using sex-disaggregated data to report and measure progress.
The guidelines outline these seven principles and provide a practical implementation to empower women and promote gender equality in business. Empowering women is beneficial in all business sectors. It will allow both women employees and the company to grow in a positive direction which can have a tremendous impact on a sustainable society.