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Women in Business

4 Key Ways to Empower Women at Work

Understanding what women in all stages of their careers and across industries are experiencing at work — all with the underlying goal of improving the workplace for women through transparency — is key to empowering women in the workplace and advancing gender equality. After analyzing the information we’ve received from the millions of women in the Fairygodboss Community, the largest career community for women, we’ve developed key insights and identified four ways that employers and employees can work together to create a workplace culture women rave about.

1. Invest in Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)

Research and first-person accounts show that when women’s networks are provided, employees feel more engaged and they are able to influence company policies and benefits. Meanwhile, employers are able to tie diversity and inclusion initiatives to business results. By leveraging the power of these internal resource groups, employers and employees can work together to create positive change within their organizations.

2. Advocate for Women

When women support and champion other women, we can collectively move gender equality forward and help advance more women into positions of leadership. In fact, 22 percent of the Fairygodboss Community say that promoting more women into leadership would make them more likely to stay in their current role or company. By celebrating your colleagues’ achievements and engaging in sponsorship and mentorship, you can help advance your career as well as the careers of those around you.

3. Evaluate Promotions and Hiring Practices

The women in our community say unequal promotion practices are the number one source of gender inequality in their workplace. Our research also shows that men are more likely to promote men while women are more likely to promote women. In order to avoid these patterns (and get more women into leadership positions!), employers must evaluate their promotion and hiring practices and focus on efforts to reduce unconscious biases through training, by removing gendered terms from résumé review and engaging a diverse group of stakeholders during the interview or promotion process.

4. Practice What You Preach

Information about company culture and policies has never been easier to find, thanks to technology. But while reading about policies is important, we know that it’s more important than ever for employers to showcase how employees actually put things like flexible working schedules into practice. It is no longer acceptable to simply talk about diversity and inclusion; employers must actually engage in storytelling to show prospective employees how those policies come to life on a daily basis. Women applicants want to envision themselves working at a company, and by using your current employees as ambassadors and showcasing why your company is a great place for women, your company can actively recruit the best female talent.

While we’re slowly but steadily making the workplace more equal, there is still much work to do to achieve full gender parity. By using these four strategies and engaging employers and employees alike, we can help move workplaces forward to ultimately reach a truly equal workplace.

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