While the number of women stepping into the world of work has increased from what it had been a decade before, a lot still remains to be achieved in terms of women’s adequate participation in the workforce. As per the McKinsey Women in the Workplace survey 2020, women are yet to be aptly represented at all levels of the corporate ladder.
Like many progressive companies, Toyota, the Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer, has initiated measures to promote female employee participation and their advancement in the company. The implementation period of these measures has started from 1 April 2020 and is to continue till 31 March 2025.
Here are some ways through which companies can encourage women’s participation in the workplace:
Provide adequate support:
Companies should provide opportunities to women employees for professional development. New joiners or struggling employees can be placed under a mentor who can provide the proper guidance as required. Also, women should be offered more visibility and better networking opportunities to move ahead in their career.
With remote work being on the rise due to the ongoing pandemic, women need more flexibility to be able to handle both their professional and personal fronts deftly. Apart from this, companies can take initiatives such as ‘Return to Work’, offering opportunities to women to join the workforce and make progress in their career.
Choose women in leadership roles:
Companies need to reinforce the idea that women make efficient leaders. This can be done by offering leadership positions and roles to deserving women employees within the company. Climbing up the corporate ladder will be easier for women when they would be evaluated based only on their skills and abilities.
Biases and prejudices against women are very common in workplaces. Companies can put an end to this by working proactively to address the stereotypes. Organisations need to restructure their hiring practices, create a more diverse hiring panel, come up with gender-neutral job descriptions, evaluate all employees using equal parameters etc.
Diminish the pay gap:
Acknowledging the existing disparity in the remunerations of male and female employees is the first step towards eliminating the pay gap. Promote equal pay for equal work. Encourage transparency regarding the compensation provided to both men and women performing the same work. Also, make sure that the company policies treat everyone equal in terms of hiring, training and promotion.
Formulate effective anti-harassment policy:
Women need to feel safe and secure in workplaces to be able to give their fullest. The management should have a zero-tolerance policy against instances of sexual harassment within the workspace. Prevention and identification of harassment cases will encourage women employees to participate more.
Have proper parental leave policy:
Motherhood is a blessing. However, it should not be an obstacle in a woman’s path of fulfilling her career goals. An appropriate parental leave policy is essential in helping the working mothers find the perfect balance between work and home. Lending a supportive hand will enable mothers to remain committed to their work.