- Women face challenges in the workplace, such as gender bias and lack of support.
- Sexual harassment is a pervasive problem that can lead to mental health issues, job insecurity, and loss of income.
- Achieving gender inclusivity requires equal opportunities for women to participate in leadership positions.
- Employers can make female workers feel comfortable and secure by offering legal services against harassment, creating a code of conduct, and more.
As the world progresses, women have started acquiring positions in different fields, ranging from education, politics, medicine, and business. However, despite the progress and the introduction of affirmative action, women still face significant challenges in their daily work in different industries.
The struggle is not only for them but also affects the businesses they work for, resulting in lost productivity, employee turnover, and low morale. Therefore, it is essential to highlight these struggles to raise awareness among business owners and entrepreneurs and find effective ways to address them.
Female Employees in the American Workplace
It’s estimated that over 74 million women are in the American workforce. Despite this, women still face several challenges in the workplace. A 2018 report from the Center for American Progress found that only about 5 percent of Fortune 500 companies are led by women CEOs, and just 9 percent of board seats at those companies are held by women. Here are some struggles American women are experiencing in the workplace and what you can do to ensure they can stay in your business better.
One of the leading issues women face in the workplace is gender bias. Gender bias occurs when an employee is treated differently because of their gender. It can manifest differently, from unequal pay, promotions, and recognition to being denied opportunities and exclusion from meetings and other vital decision-making processes. The bias is usually unconscious and can result in a toxic work culture, which affects the morale and productivity of the employees.
Lack of Support
Women also struggle with a lack of support in the workplace. Lack of support can range from inadequate training, resources, and mentorship opportunities to disregard for women’s complaints and issues they face in the workplace. Women need help to thrive in their careers; they will likely become demotivated and unfulfilled. It is, therefore, essential to provide the appropriate support to women employees to enable them to reach their full potential.
Sexual harassment is another problematic issue that women face in the workplace. It is a pervasive problem that can lead to mental health issues, job insecurity, and loss of income. Sexual harassment can take various forms, from physical touch, inappropriate comments, and gestures to vulgar or suggestive remarks. Creating a safe workplace environment that prohibits such behaviors towards women employees is essential.
Inflexible work arrangements and lack of employer support often make it hard for women to maintain a work-life balance. This also includes family responsibilities that women have to cater for in addition to their work duties. They must take care of their families, children, spouses, and needs. Therefore, introducing programs such as flexible work arrangements, onsite daycare facilities, and providing employee benefits can be a way for organizations to support their female employees.
Under-Representation at the Top
Another struggle that women are experiencing is under-representation in leadership positions. Women are underrepresented in higher management roles, board positions, and even key decision-making roles, contributing less than their male counterparts. This results in a lack of diverse business perspectives, which, in turn, impacts an organization’s performance, image, and productivity. Providing equal opportunities for women to participate in leadership positions is crucial to achieving gender inclusivity.
How to Make Women Comfortable in Your Business
If you’re a business owner employing female workers, here are some ways you can make them feel comfortable and secure in the workplace:
Legal Services Against Harassment
Women are prone to all sorts of harassment in the office. Because of this, your business should allow them to file a civil harassment restraining order against those who harass them in any way. This should be done by the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), as it is illegal to harass anyone in the workplace.
Create a Code of Conduct
Creating a code of conduct that clearly outlines expected behavior and consequences for inappropriate behavior can help ensure everyone is on the same page regarding what is considered acceptable or unacceptable in the workplace. This document should be distributed widely, ensuring everyone can access it. You should also have regular compliance training to ensure everyone knows the code of conduct.
Flexible Work Arrangements
Offering flexible work arrangements such as working from home and part-time schedules can help women manage their responsibilities at home while still pursuing their career goals. This will create a better balance between family and work life and ensure that women employees are not limited in the workplace by their responsibilities.
These are just some of the issues women face in the workplace and what you can do to make them feel more comfortable and secure in your business. By providing a safe environment while respecting diversity, you can create a work culture that is conducive for everyone. With the right strategies, you can ensure all your employees are happy and engaged.