Honoring Women in the Workplace
Across Women’s History Month, we at CMA will be highlighting the contributions of key and influential women in our industry who have contributed to the betterment of workplaces and societies as a whole. However, given that today is International Women’s Day, we wanted to first share some ideas for how you can honor those (likely less famous) women who have contributed and continue to contribute to your particular workplace—your female colleagues and coworkers. So, consider the below 5 ways that you can champion at your organization.
Facilitate balance. According to research, around half of women struggle to find balance between their work and non-work lives. This is because there is still a gender imbalance as women typically tend to perform more of the “unpaid chores”, such as preparing dinner, cleaning, and managing child care. These stressors, consequently, spill over into the workplace and can have negative impacts. What can you do to help with this? Consider facilitating greater balance by flexing where possible, such as with work hours. Also, consider offering resources to help your employees better deal with stress and find balance, such as stress management classes and even coaching.
Host a professional development opportunity. Given that this month is about raising awareness about women’s empowerment and gender equality, it is an ideal time to provide a professional development opportunity. This opportunity could be used to not only highlight the accomplishments of women over time, but also raise other important issues around women’s rights, DE&I (diversity, equity, and inclusion), and much more.
Understand the female perspective via literary works. One of the best ways to better understand the perspective of many women (beyond deep dialogue with them) is to read. Starting a book club of women authors offers the chance to not only understand the paths and difficulties that many women have had (and continue to have) to endure, but also provides another opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments. Looking for a few books to get started? Consider the below picks:
- Speak: Find Your Voice, Trust Your Gut, and Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Tunde Oyeneyin
- Dare to Lead by Brené Brown
- More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say) by Elaine Welteroth
Sharing of impact. Not every impactful woman is world-renowned. Oftentimes, the women who make an impact on our personal lives are relatively unknown, but their impacts have been great. A simple idea that you can get started doing now is setting up a bulletin board (physical and/or online) where employees can honor those women who have personally improved their lives in some shape or form. Such initiatives can facilitate deep conversation and connection amongst staff.
Implement an employee recognition program. Formal recognition is one of the absolute best ways to underscore your organization’s commitment to and support of women. Consider asking your employees to nominate a woman of the year. Yearly at an all-hands or end-of-the-year celebration, the selected award recipient can be honored by one of your organization’s senior leaders for her contributions to the organization.