This month, we celebrate women: their history, their accomplishments, and their force to be reckoned with. We, at Percent Pledge, see it every day; women clearing paths for the women around them.
Our Percent Pledge women, Danielle Perlstein, Maureen Johannigman, and Cori Hammoor, put their heads together to share their tips for creating an inclusive culture for women at your company.
Building an inclusive culture
Women’s History Month is a great way to kick off or invigorate your company’s activism for women. March can become the architect of your continuous path to celebrate, connect with, fight for, empower, and advocate for women. So how do you create this inclusive culture year-round?
Establish gender parity
Ensuring women are represented equally on all levels of your workforce is key. This is important not only for creating an inclusive work environment and strong company culture, but it has bottom-line impacts. According to Mckinsey, when women are well represented at the top, company profits and share performance can be close to 50% higher.
The progress has been slow, and the “Shecession” is not helping, aka the current economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately impacting women, especially women of color, forcing them to drop out of the workforce. This means that even greater efforts will need to be made both in recruiting and workplace culture to continue the progress women have made.
So, how can you and your company make strides toward gender parity? Examine your recruiting practices and how you account for gaps in work history. The usual channels of recruitment – referrals – tend to benefit white men. Choose inclusive language and practices in job postings, human resource policies, and how you share feedback. Promote and support women’s confidence and development. Finally, and maybe most importantly, do a pay audit and adjust salaries accordingly.
One of our clients, B Capital Group, has made gender parity a priority. Now, women hold half of the Director+ roles at the firm, and B Capital Group has been named one of the top-10 most diverse companies in the Venture Capital industry. Not an easy feat for an industry that men dominate.
Recognize the importance of work-life balance – especially for working moms
Lead by example. If a strong work-life balance is a core value at your company, don’t send emails or Slack messages late at night or make working “optional” on holidays. The working mothers will usually be the ones who feel singled out in those situations – for choosing to be with their family on an “optional” day off. As a company leader, it’s your responsibility to set the tone and be an exemplar – then others will follow suit.
Work-life balance is much easier to achieve when employees don’t feel like they need to leave their “life” at the door when they start their workday. A mom doesn’t stop being a mom just because they’re in a Zoom meeting. Ensure there are plenty of opportunities for employees to share outside-of-work updates to create stronger connections and build greater empathy amongst colleagues.
Recognize women for their accomplishments
A simple way to make someone feel included is an easy ‘pat on the back.’ Recognizing and celebrating women’s (really, anyone’s) accomplishments is a great way to build an inclusive culture.
At Percent Pledge, we have a shoutout channel on slack that shows our appreciation for a co-worker’s hard work. Everyone loves to be recognized for a job well done. So next time someone does excellent work or accomplishes something simple – shout them out to show your appreciation.
Elevate women in your broader community
Of all the ways to build an inclusive culture for women in your workplace, there is one that has the added benefit of uniting your team as a force for good: giving back to the women in your local community.
We learned earlier how so many women are now out of the workforce due to the pandemic (to be precise, 2.2 million women). So who is going to help their livelihoods? Or help these women find their way back? Other women and allies.
By partnering with nonprofits to mentor, support, promote, and educate fellow women, we can help change the landscape for all. This is why Percent Pledge partners with nonprofits worldwide, working to support, uplift, and empower women every day.
These are just a few tips for creating an equitable, inclusive culture for women in the workplace. Do you have your tips or experiences to add? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll share on LinkedIn!