Many strides have been made to promote gender equality in the working world. However, support shouldn't end once the gates have been opened; solidifying the positions of female workers in various industries will ensure a stable, long-lasting balance. The Sydney Morning Herald recently posted the top five gender equality policies that have yielded strong results.
If you're a female applicant entering the working world, understanding these methods will help you evaluate companies you apply to, as well as potential techniques to make your transition smoother.
1. Leadership: Lead by Example
Those who occupy positions of leadership within a company are responsible for directing the tone and focus of the company's employees. Whether it's setting the pace for upcoming projects or fostering a friendly workspace, company leaders influence the work environment most greatly. It is squarely within the power of these individuals to promote gender equality in the workplace and encourage valuing individuals on their merits and accomplishments.
2. Recruitment: Look in the Right Places, Set Goals
No one wants to hire an unqualified employee, and when employers consider hiring quotas, they often struggle to adapt. Rather than searching in the usual places for competitive candidates who are also female, a little bit of exploration into other spaces may prove fruitful. Quotas are a push -- and sometimes an unwelcome one -- but they can provide an impetus to finding new wells of talent to pull from and further promoting equality in the workplace.
3. Development Programs
Sometimes, it takes a developmental program to solidify an individual's place within a company. Just like veteran development programs help them assimilate into the civilian working world, similar programs for women have shown positive results in fostering their growth as professionals. Leadership programs, in particular, lend tools and strategies to rising female leaders to work more effectively in spaces historically occupied mostly by men.
4. Mentorship Programs
Direct mentoring can provide a critical foundation to future female leaders. Reaching out to an individual who can provide advice and direction may be one of the most effective tools for learning. It's important to gain experience -- and sometimes this involves making mistakes -- but key points of advice only help individuals learn from their struggles, rather than burn out or crash.
5. Flexible Work Arrangements
Flexible schedules and work arrangements boost morale, provide employees with a greater balance between work and life, and let workers know that the company trusts them to treat their duties with responsibility. Parents benefit from policies such as these, because they can spend more time with their children. Whether it allows for building a stronger bond or simply decreases stress, parenting and other personal duties should never be taken lightly by the individual or the company.
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