Ways Companies Can Close the Gender Gap
Despite push and progress, American companies still have a gender gap problem. Pay remains unequal across the board, diversity in higher levels sees minimal percentages, and inclusion is proving a hard lesson for companies to learn.
Ellevate Network conducted a survey of over 1,000 professional women to get their views on the gender gap, revealing that “somewhat satisfied” was the majority response to how these women’s companies handled diversity and inclusion. The second largest group was tired of PowerPoint presentations on the subject and wanted to see real change.
So, what can companies do to become more diverse and inclusionary? Closing the gender gap is no small task but, like any large undertaking, it’s done one small step at a time. Here are the top ways that your company can do their part in making monumental change.
Flexibility Without Stipulation
Today’s worker, thanks to technological advancement and innovation, are joined at the hip to their position. This has led the modern employee to value work/life balance, or flexibility, as a top perk at any company. From travel commitments to time off for childbearing or meeting with workers’ compensation claim lawyers, companies have become more lenient in the flexibility department.
However, there’s often stipulations or shame tied to an employee taking the time off they need. It’s up to today’s companies to create a workplace culture complete with advancing career paths that allow people to balance their work and home lives together in a productive way.
Break the Ceiling
Women, on average, still earn just $0.79 for every dollar made by their male counterparts. While this isn’t new news, it’s now easier than ever for an employee to find out they’re being underpaid thanks to websites offer vital industry data.
It used to be uncommon for employees to discuss pay or ask their companies to review compensation in comparison with other peers, but those days are long gone. Companies who fail to break the glass ceiling are going to be found out, losing valuable workers as well as tarnishing their reputation. So, just pay equal wages already.
Rebuild Core Values
The core values of any company are an enormous determining factor in that company’s culture. One without a forward-thinking focus leads to discrimination cases, like the kind this Los Angeles sexual harassment lawyer deals with daily. By building diversity and inclusion into those values, the gender gap begins to close.
Senior leadership and upper management have to be engaged in this process. Not only do they set the values their companies follow, but they also lead by example whether they’re actively trying to or not. When they act in diverse and inclusive ways, employees emulate that behavior.
Invest in Leadership
Leadership roles are still, unfortunately, a man’s world despite countless studies showing just how beneficial a more diverse upper echelon is for any company. Making this investment in leadership now not only helps close the gender gap but pays off in major ways.
To get there, however, companies need to make the initial investment. That includes sponsorship programs, ensuring women who return to work after having children don’t miss a step in their career growth, and unconscious bias training. Creating a pipeline to women in leadership while engaging current senior management is one investment no company should pass up.