International Women's Day (IWD) is celebrated annually on March 8th to honour the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women worldwide. IWD provides an opportunity to raise awareness about gender equality, women's rights, and the challenges that women face in various aspects of life. It is also a day to celebrate the achievements of women and call for action to address the ongoing challenges to women's empowerment.
Despite the progress that has been made in recent years, and with more women entering or returning to the workforce, there remain many challenges that deter their progress at work. For example, policies and benefits that don’t support working parents or a lack of professional development opportunities that address the needs of female employees, preventing them from climbing the ranks within their organisations.
In this article, we will focus on empowering women in the workplace and the practices companies can implement to support this.
Women Empowerment in Your Workplace – the How and the Whys
Companies can create a more inclusive and supportive workplace that empowers women to reach their full potential by implementing these practices in their workplace.
Provide family-friendly benefits
Offering family-friendly benefits such as parental leave, childcare support, and flexible work hours can help women balance work and family responsibilities, and make it easier for them to return to work after having children.
For example, at Babilou Family, we offer hybrid or flexible work arrangement to allow better work-life balance. We also support our staff with family-friendly policies such as maternity leave and childcare leave as per government regulations, discounted fees across all our centres for the children of our staff and the provision of a nursing room in our HQ for mothers to use when they need it.
These arrangements can make it easier for women to balance work and family responsibilities, which can lead to increased job satisfaction and retention.
Provide equal pay and benefits
As a childhood education provider, naturally we have many female staff as educators or professionals in Babilou Family. We strive to promote gender equality and to create a fair and inclusive workplace where our staff enjoy the same benefits and fairness in career advancements, regardless of gender.
Offer leadership and mentoring programmes
Provide opportunities for women to develop their leadership skills and connect with mentors who can help them advance in their careers and break through the glass ceiling.
Create a safe and respectful workplace
Ensuring that the workplace is free from harassment, discrimination, and other forms of misconduct can help women feel safe and valued at work.
Our CEO, Benjamin Busse, is one of the few males in our female-dominated organisation. He treats everyone as equals regardless of gender and background and interacts well with all our staff from all levels. His open-work culture and promotion of ground-up feedback such as from the centre teams sets a great tone for the company to promote equal opportunity and a diverse and inclusive culture.
Provide Gender Bias Training
Providing training to help employees recognise and address unconscious biases can help create a more inclusive workplace and ensure that women are evaluated fairly based on their performance and potential. This will lead to higher motivation and productivity to sustain and advance their careers in the same organisation.
Taking the First Steps Towards Empowering Women at Work
By adopting these practices, companies can create a supportive work environment that encourages women to grow in their roles over time and help them achieve their full potential.
When women are empowered, they are better able to advocate for their rights, make informed decisions about their lives, and contribute to their communities and economies. Hence, empowering women has a ripple effect that benefits individuals, families, communities, and societies as a whole.
We hope the above points inspire you to establish diverse and inclusive initiatives in your company that is family-friendly, and empowering to both women and men in your workplace.
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