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2020 data from McKinsey shows that the number of women in leadership positions is slowly increasing since 2015 from 15% to 21%. Despite the increase, women – especially women belonging to racialized groups (Blacks, Indigenous, People of Colour, and LGBTQ+), are still drastically underrepresented in leadership positions. The impact of COVID-19 and recent social justice events have brought the topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion to organizations across the globe. In this post, we'll look at ways in which organizations are able to empower their female employees.  

Prioritize Mental Well-Being   

According to the Harvard Business Review, "what holds women back at work is not some unique challenge of balancing the demands of work and family but rather a general problem of overwork that prevails in contemporary corporate culture."   

These are feelings everyone can empathize with now that remote work is the new normal. The separation between work and home is more blurred than ever before. If organizations fail to make mental well-being a priority, they'll struggle to get the best out of their employees. Psychologically healthy workplaces empower their employees by focusing on healthy workloads and defining clear roles and expectations. Simply addressing these factors is an example of how you can improve your organization by incorporating the 13 Psychosocial Factors in your decision making.  

Part of what makes women employees special is their desire to find meaning within their work rather than simply showing up for a job. According to Psychology Today, individuals who value meaning within their work "are more likely to find their work meaningful and will modify their duties and develop relationships to make it more so." Organizations can nurture this desire for a calling by making mental well-being and psychosocial factors a priority.  

Hire More Women Senior Leaders from Racialized Groups  

In our last article, we looked at the benefits that women leaders bring to organizations. Adding diversity to your leadership team will help your leaders challenge gender stereotypes that can cause women who aspire for leadership positions to shy away. Representation is an important part of showing your employees what's possible while also demonstrating your commitment to creating a diverse and equitable workplace. Research by Deloitte indicates that organizations with an inclusive culture are 20% more innovative and 30% more likely to identify risk, which improves the implementation process. 

Establish Support Systems  

Organizations can learn from Hilton Hotels and how they provide their front-line staff with work/life flexibility. Research shows that 68% of the housekeeping workforce are women, while 28% are men. Hilton helps their housekeeping staff by allowing employees to leave early and receive pay for the full day, provided all their work is done properly. This allows parents with responsibilities to their children to avoid rush hour and save money in child care costs. This simple incentive from Hilton is an example of a support system that encourages employees to bring their best effort and their whole selves to work.  

Psychologically healthy workplaces need to embrace feedback from their front-line staff if they want to grow. Adding avenues for public and private feedback helps employees, especially visible minorities, feel comfortable giving feedback. Taking action on feedback submitted by employees is one of the best ways organizations can show they respect and value input from their employees. It's much easier for women employees and leaders to thrive in organizations with established feedback and support systems.  

Our Pathways to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program comprehensively addresses the needs of the 21st century workforce. In this program, we provide tools and techniques to support you and your organization in addressing, managing, and reaping the benefits of a diverse workforce. To find out more about Pathways, Register for a free 20-30minute one-on-one information session with Phyllis, the creator of Pathways to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program for Organizations: http://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUpc-usrzouHNR4MZnzZruEhHGg9fgYLKaH

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