Women in the Workforce: Actions You Can Take to Make Equality a Business Priority

Recent research on gender equality in the workplace offers a glimmer of hope – for example, Women in the Workplace 2021, the largest study of women in corporate America, notes that progress has been made in female representation – but there’s still a long way to go before this concept truly becomes reality.

How can you make your workplace a better, more balanced place for all people from underrepresented groups, starting with women?  Because you don’t want to be part of the picture of businesses who only give lip service to gender – or any form of – equality.

Encourage women to take on more stretch assignments.

Stretch projects and goals provide the opportunity to build new – and hone established – skills, take risks, and develop resilience. These are all key aspects of effective leadership development. Which leads to more women in leadership. Which helps maintain your company’s gender equality balance.

Make a longer recruitment shortlist.

Especially if yours is a male dominated industry, gender inequity may be inherent in your recruitment process. Yikes! To address this, strive to make your informal hiring shortlist not quite so short. As reported in the Harvard Business Review, adding three additional candidates to an initial shortlist of three saw the women-to-men ratio improve from 1:6 to 1:4.

Eliminate the gender pay gap at your company.

In 2020, women earned 81 cents for every U.S. dollar earned by men. This has improved from 74 cents five years earlier, but the scale is still unbalanced. Be part of the positive change. This means being transparent about the wages you pay, to ensure women are earning the same as men in equivalent roles.

Have women mentor men.

Mentoring in the workplace offers numerous benefits for everyone involved. But by encouraging women mentoring men, you may be able to generate more willingness for employees to simply see each other as people – not just members of a specific demographic category – and to collaborate and work as one, for everyone’s success.

Focus on work/life balance.

Hint #1: Work/life balance is really important to everyone, not just to women.

Hint #2: The global pandemic shone a whole new, positive, productive light on work/life balance, including flexible schedules and remote work options.

The bottom line is simple: Let people work in the way that suits their lifestyle best, through more flexibility. As long as you get the results you need, does it really matter if an employee works from 9 to 5 Monday through Friday? If an employee wants to complete this month’s sales report from their home desktop while the kids are napping … what’s the problem, really? Being part of true, positive change means stepping out of your comfort zone and breaking the “this is always how we’ve done things here” mold.


Do you need more tips to build your employer’s reputation as a diverse, equitable workplace? If so, reach out to PrideStaff Modesto today.