Ten simple things workplace can offer to help their women employees become more empowered
Being a working woman is a matter of pride for ambitious women but for some of them, it’s a compulsion. No matter for what reason they chooses to work and where they work, being a working woman is not easy. And then it becomes even more challenging when they are a working mother. We women live in a society that judges us for every single thing we do, and we do not do. Then we have, families, family expectations, old parents and in laws to be cared, young kids to be raised and reared. Families are definitely a bliss and family responsibilities are never a burden, but practically it does take time and energy to do anything. With all this, most of the women have weaker physique, as they do not get enough time and motivation left for the day, to take care of their own health. Though many of these issues are beyond the purview of workplace, but our office still can do a lot for us. Even small gestures and doing go long way in making our day more worthy and beautiful. There are ten small ways, I found our workplace can help us becoming more empowered.
1. Time flexibility: There are many ways this new bio metric attendance system is helping to make system more efficient. It ensures officers are available in their seats during the working hours. It’s always a good practice to maintain the office timings, but there are situations when a woman needs to adjust her office timings to manage other responsibilities at hand. Providing that flexibility of timings, considering their position will be a big support to them. Provision of work from home for sometimes, will allow them to juggle between work and home responsibilities. These small changes will certainly help the system retain their women workforce for longer.
2. Don’t judge them: Women has to do twenty things before they leave house, so please don’t judge them for how they look, how they dress up, how their hair style is. Its OK if their kurta is not that perfectly ironed for a meeting, its OK if they leave their hair open or tied. Just leave all this at their convenience. Also, don’t judge them for the choices they make for their own life. Encourage a woman if they decide to resume work just after their maternity leave and allow them if they want to extend their break beyond the paid maternity leave period.
3. Provide Role Models: Everyone likes to follow someone. The one, whom they want to become like. Try to have some strong headed, bold, intelligent woman leaders in the system. They are not just good leaders; they are great influences also. Having such role models within the system inspires other women to push themselves with more strength.
4. Be an inspiring boss: No matter you are a male or female boss, you definitely have the power to inspire people working under your supervision. The way you take a decision, they way you execute a plan, they way you treat your seniors and juniors may inspire others. So be careful as people working for you are watching you and learning from you. Women go through tough times. There are situations when they feel like giving up. As a boss it’s your duty to counsel them positively. Give them some hope, say those nice words, help them sail their boat through the stormy night.
5. Encourage and Appreciate: Never underestimate a women’s ability even if they doubt their own capacity. Don’t give them easier tasks just because they are women. Put them through the most challenging tasks and encourage them to handle it. Help them recognize their potential, show confidence in their capacity. Once they are done, appreciate them. Let them know what all they can achieve.
6. Conducive Environment: Working women needs to spend most of their daily hours towards their work, including office hours, time in commuting, responding to the mails and calls beyond office hours, etc. In a way, workplace is not just an office where employees come and work, it’s a place where they spend most of their awake time. Office environment plays a big role in maintaining work life balance. Try to make it conducive enough to cope up with the given challenges.
7. Equal Opportunities: Expose your female staff to all possible opportunities and encourage them to grab it with full confidence. Allow them to undertake key assignments.
8. Childcare facilities: Whether and when to resume work after having a child is one of the most difficult decision for a mother. Owing to the nuclear structures of families now a days, mothers if resume work must depend on a childcare facility. Having a childcare facility at or near the site of work, provides them the confidence for taking that dual role. Being within the reach of their child all time, helps mother cope up with the anxieties and maternal guilt, that in turn make them more efficient at work.
9. Care leaves: Most of the time, its women who are held accountable for providing care. They need to provide care to their sick child, old parents, in laws, spouse, and anyone in family. While they are away from work providing care, they also face the big amount of productivity losses. Is it anywhere justified? Care is not just the women’s responsibility. It is the responsibility of the whole society. If they are serving on behalf of all others, at the end they deserve extra incentives, not the deducted salaries. Institutions should have a provision of care leaves for all its employees. It can even motivate male fellows to share some care duties.
10. Ensure their security: Security is a big concern for working women and for their families. If you hire women, you should ensure their security. Having a proper system in place to avoid any kind of physical or mental harassment is essential. Office must provide safe transport; in case a woman employee is required to stay late for work requirement.
These are ten simple ways a workplace may play an important role in strengthening their women work power. Women have immense potential. They only need more support.