What are the barriers that women face in the workplace? How can organizations make changes? How are women rising to unique challenges?
Well, women leaders are stepping up to support employee well-being, promote diversity, fight for equality, and create an inclusive work culture. Let’s have a look.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Why is women’s leadership important?
What are the unique challenges female leaders experience in the workplace?
- The glass ceiling
- Lack of Mentors
- Widening gender equality & pay gap
How are women leaders rising to unique challenges?
- Women leaders are stepping out of their comfort zones
- Women leaders are stepping up to support their mates
- Female leaders are fighting for a mindset of equality
Take down the wall & take steps forward that matter
Women are trying to carve a place for them. In the past, women have struggled to find acceptance in the workplace because of stereotypes, discrimination, unconscious bias, and many more barriers. In recent years even when there have been calls for greater gender equality, we can see there isn’t adequate representation of women in leadership roles.
To tackle the barriers, you have to create better policies and opportunities for women.
WHY IS WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP IMPORTANT?
A more diverse workforce with more women in leadership roles is linked to more innovation and improvement. With increasing diversity, organizations have access to a broader talent pool.
Having women in leadership roles can help organizations to forge a deeper connection, inspire & empower budding junior women, and boost employee engagement.
- Women bring in talent, new perspectives, and cultural diversity to the organization. Women can study minor details to see what’s underneath with diverse views.
- Research shows that women are perceived as better and more capable leaders. Women executives bring in new views and unique ideas to the table. When these two factors are combined, they help to develop new viewpoints that lead to better corporate decision-making. Women possess such qualities and this makes them strong leaders.
- Communication is where women can have more meaningful conversations with their team members which results in an open line of communication with a sense of clarity. Effective communication skills begin with listening. Women are better listeners and this makes them effective communicators.
- Everyone regardless of gender requires someone to mentor them. Female leaders are more understanding, serve as perfect role models, and are terrific mentors.
- Organizations are looking to close the gender pay gap for a long time.
WHAT ARE THE UNIQUE CHALLENGES FEMALE LEADERS EXPERIENCE IN THE WORKPLACE?
Opportunities for women have grown in the workplace, even then there’s still a significant gap between male and female employees. When females move into leadership positions, they face discrimination and are conditioned by perspectives.
Let’s take a look at the unique obstacles women face while climbing corporate ladders.
1. The Glass Ceiling
Success is found outside the comfort zone but is often hindered by the fear of the unknown. The glass ceiling describes the invisible barrier that blocks women’s chances of advancement up the corporate ladder. Labeling or stereotyping are stumbling blocks in the career paths of women.
Many women in positions of leadership insist that the most important career strategy for advancing to senior levels is to consistently exceed performance expectations and often get stopped in their tracks for fear of making decisions.
Women haven’t moved into powerful positions because there are just a few who have the right combination of training, education, and seasoning. In short, women agonize over the right way forward and fail to get to the top because of systematic discrimination against them.
2. Lack of Mentors
To get to the top of the corporate ladder, women need mentors who can support them in mentorship. Women fear command-and-control leadership that holds them back from expressing what they want to do. Women who stepped out of the workforce or reduced work hours during trying times may also have trouble getting back on track in their careers.
3. Widening Gender Equality & Pay Gap
Lack of gender equality in leadership positions exists because of the patriarchal values that undergird the structure of leadership.
When women employees are hired, they fear rejection and if rehiring then they fear uncertainty about how others will criticize. Women are still paid less than men. Unfortunately pay gaps are still prevalent in the workplace and because of these females have fewer opportunities to break into high-paying positions.
The solution to this challenge isn’t simply to pay both genders equally although that is certainly a goal it goes beyond numbers and extends opportunities for females in the workplace.
HOW ARE WOMEN LEADERS RISING TO UNIQUE CHALLENGES?
To solve gut-wrenching issues women are rising from the landscape by knocking down the barriers thereby creating opportunities and empowering other women to make impactful changes. Thus, women are excelling in leadership roles and embracing their natural leadership styles to bring positive culture shifts in the workplace. It’s the beginning of a good thing!!
1. Women Leaders are stepping out of their comfort zones
For women to move up the corporate ladder to break the ceiling, must work harder, and advance their careers. In other words, women are stepping out of their comfort levels.
Women are ambitious and the socialization of perfection leads them to risk aversion.
Hewlett-Packard’s study shows women apply for a job only if they meet 100% of the criteria. If a position resonates with strength, traits, education, experience, and seasoning then women are throwing their hats in the ring to meet the job criteria by 100%.
You could miss one of those serendipitous aha moments that will take you to think in a different approach.
Don’t miss out on any opportunities that come your way. Instead, embrace the spotlight, recognize & overcome the fear and accomplish things that make you scared anyway. Evaluate your situation, make the right decision, and choose the possible path that you should take.
Women don’t take NO for an answer. When you step out of your comfort zone you: –
- Take advantage of opportunities that never would have arisen otherwise; and
- Develop a positive mindset in the workplace.
2. Women leaders are stepping up to support their mates
Women approach their careers in a self-reflective way and value meaning, purpose, and connection with co-workers and work-life integration and for that, they need leaders who can provide guidance and mentor them.
Having a mentor – can be a powerful source of knowledge, make a big difference, help set clear goals, and keep female employees accountable for their advancement. When women leaders lead by example while being supportive, open, and collaborative, they become a mentor and role models for other women.
Learn to stand up for them!! Being a leader, you have a seat at the table and the determination to own your voice and express yourself at whatever stage you are at. Be resilient and change will come. If you’re interested in bringing change towards equality in workplaces, keep your perspectives top of mind in conversation at the corporate level which will create an inclusive workplace culture.
Women are master jugglers by practice whereby: –
- Helps team members in navigating work-life challenges,
- Invest their time by providing training & mentorship,
- Ensures workloads are manageable & multitaskers; and
- Helping team members to align goals & attain the key results.
3. Women Leaders are fighting for a mindset of equality
Inequality in the workplace is no secret. Each woman needs to take initiative to manage their career by proactively sharpening their skills and experiences so that opportunities for advancement will present themselves.
Don’t let perceived determinants rule the day. Encourage yourself and even others and above all: –
- remain steadfast,
- stand to the ground,
- demand the respect you deserve, and
- be optimistic.
To combat the gender pay gap, recruit and promote women to leadership roles. When hiring or rehiring women employees, businesses must ensure that they have to pay women leaders equally regardless of gender. Within an organization when the gender pay gap is reduced it allows women to influence corporate culture, enter all levels of leadership including the corporate ladder, and influence decision making which includes pay grades and wider equality.
TAKE DOWN THE WALL AND TAKE STEPS FORWARD THAT MATTER
To reach the goal, organizations have to take down several walls: –
- Review compensation regularly to ensure you are paying fairly to everyone.
- Establish mentorship and encourage interactions between employees. It’s personal connections that lead to building strong relationships that can propel careers.
- Diversify teams by adopting diverse hiring methods and develop an inclusive hiring process using rytfit.ai.
When companies have more women leaders, it ensures gender balance which also enables women to reach their full potential which not only benefits employees but also the organization. An inclusive environment helps businesses grow and evolve with a more productive workforce.