5 Ways to Empower Women In Business and Inspire the Next Generation of Women Leaders
To help the business owners and leaders to approach this seemingly Herculean task, We’ve got a series of suggestions worth considering.
Connect women with female mentors.
Sharing stories and experiences has always been one of the most effective ways to change minds and provoke action. That’s why pairing up women with strong female role models is one of the many ways to empower your employees to succeed in both your company and their industries.
For example, if a woman is just starting out in her career, connecting her with more experienced figures who are already established in their professions – such as women entrepreneurs and other female leadership roles – could be beneficial in helping her define her career path.
Take time to develop female talent.
When a woman or any employee enters your workforce, she should be funneled through a well-orchestrated system for ongoing training, mentorship, community engagement, and development. In addition to establishing strong onboarding and training programs, this might mean pairing employees with mentors and/or sponsors who will meet regularly with them to discuss career trajectory and answer questions, as well as connecting employees to ongoing professional development resources and opportunities – and allowing them the time away from their daily jobs to take advantage of those opportunities.
Remind women that they are valued.
There are multiple ways that your business can implement these values. The first step is bias training and awareness, as you won’t know what you’re doing wrong until you confront your actions head-on. Next, you can promote a safe environment where everyone can voice their concerns and challenges, as well as know who to turn to for help. Finally, promote dedicated activities or training for women, like public speaking events, negotiations, and focus/support groups. Ideally, you should offer these opportunities to all minorities so that everyone can feel empowered to flourish at work for who they are.
Empower women to problem-solve.
If businesses are able to successfully hire, onboard, train, develop, engage and retain talented women, there will likely still be a need for one final push into senior leadership opportunities.
Among the many ideas encompassed in the report are two suggestions that really spoke to me – first, the need to educate men at all levels of our business community about this pervasive problem and its potential solutions, in order to gain their support and investment, and second, the need for more formal and structured sponsorship programs to personally guide women into roles at the top of their organizations. These are the kinds of steps that will truly empower women to reach their full potential as leaders.
Support International Women’s Day.
Of course, you should respect and empower women in the workplace every single day. In addition to that, it’s also important to honor the one day each year dedicated to a push for women’s rights – and this is a push for everyone, not just women. Therefore, all genders in your company should be welcomed to participate in the day’s events.
For example, if your employees want to take off a morning to join a march, show your respect by allowing it, without question. It’s also possible to be proactive, by hosting events or giving away branded items for the day – something worth more than just a positive PR-move, but a humble acceptance towards all of your employees and their worth at your company.