There is no denying that, in the world of work, women are often brushed aside in favour of their male colleagues. In fact, it is fair to say that female workers can find it difficult to climb the ladder and fill top-level positions due to no fault of their own. Ultimately, companies are missing out on strong assets and on valuable qualities that would truly let the business grow.
As a woman in a senior role, you can play your part in reversing this negative trend and assisting your fellow female employees. According to research published in the Harvard Business Review, women who receive support from other colleagues in the workplace are more likely to secure executive positions. Of course, this also entails higher pay and more authority. Why? Because forming connections with other women can help overcome systemic obstacles, including unconscious bias, which can hinder their professional progression.
Here, we take a look at some of the steps you can take in order to aid your fellow female workers in flourishing within your business.
Set clear career plans
One of the best ways to show support to your female staff is to provide them with a transparent career plan from the outset. With clear goals and targets from the start, they will have more scope for improvement, development, and both personal and professional growth.
In fact, women with a career plan in place are more likely to succeed in their roles. With a clearer horizon and an array of objectives in mind, your fellow female employees will be able to discuss their aims and actively communicate the support they need to prosper.
Offer help and be approachable
Embracing an approachable attitude and offering help will benefit your female employees. Indeed, it could be that, with the stereotypical belief that there are not enough opportunities for women, female workers might develop unnecessary rivalries with their peers.
However, “fighting” for higher roles won’t open many doors. Instead, mutual collaboration and support will go a long way in creating more senior opportunities for a larger number of women. Prioritising relationship building, nurturing team development, and having a go-to group of women can be extremely handy for female peers who need honest advice or immediate help. Women might feel more comfortable seeking support from another woman rather than a man. Having an approachable senior female member of the team, in fact, might be the only way that women feel like their issues will be heard and acted upon by senior management.
Therefore, providing mentorship and being accommodating with your female workers can significantly aid those ladies aiming for powerful positions.
Champion success and celebrate achievements
A great and simple method to effectively support women is to let them know when they are doing a good job. In fact, crediting and acknowledging your female employees for their hard work can make a world of difference. It is a small gesture that can boost their morale and encourage them to keep up their great efforts.
Also, make sure you champion and celebrate their successes. Whatever the achievement, ensure you always offer your female staff the praise they deserve. Not only will you be helping other women shine, but you will also be showing that you are an inspiring and supportive leader.
Offering your fellow female peers a flexible work schedule will make their routines much easier and their jobs more appealing. In fact, it will allow them to better balance their professional and family life, giving them the chance to both juggle their duties and manage their time more effectively.
Flexibility is particularly important when it comes to retaining your talented female employees. In this respect, women with children will truly value having a flexible schedule. They will be able to adequately focus on their career, while also raising their children and sharing precious moments with their little ones.
Another way for senior managers to benefit their female employees is to hand them new tasks and entrust them with projects. By delegating work and responsibilities, you will be actively helping your female peers develop crucial skills. This will also provide them with the chance to showcase their abilities and gradually rise within the business.
You may want to consider giving them the option to delegate projects and tasks themselves. In fact, delegation is an excellent skill to have for those who aspire to gain promotions and advance into senior positions.
Close the pay gap
Why should the gender pay gap continue to exist? Openness and transparency around salaries are fundamental for ensuring that salaries are equal as they can be, and that they always reflect qualities and experience – not gender.
Because it is still a ‘taboo’ subject, there is a chance that many women may not feel confident enough to attempt to negotiate a pay rise. Hence, as a fellow woman in a senior position, strive to make sure your female staff’s efforts are adequately rewarded on a financial level. If a female employee is considering working towards a promotion or believes that their skills have developed enough to warrant a pay rise, you can embolden them to pursue that goal.
If you do not hold the power to offer your team members a pay rise, you may still want to provide them with some tips on how to successfully renegotiate their salary. This will certainly give your peers some vitally important extra confidence and self-awareness.
Ultimately, supporting fellow female employees in the workplace is earmarked as one of the best ways to ensure that women can continue to fill top-level roles. With these simple yet effective tips at hand, you will be able to implement small changes to boost your female colleagues’ professional progression.