Promoting females in leadership roles is not just about social equality in the professional world, it is great for business as well. According to one 2016 global study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics, it was found that a significant correlation exists between women in leadership roles and the profitability of the business. In-spite of the steady increase in the number of female CEOs working for the Fortune 500 companies over the period of past 10 years, in 2017 the number was recorded highest at 6.4 percent while in 2018 it was 4.8 the lowest in 10 years according to the reports of the Pew Research Center.
So what was the reason behind this drop? In the aforementioned study, the subjects were asked about the features of corporate leadership in which women would be better than their male counterparts and vice versa. It was noted that about 50 % of the people in each category who were questioned that polled felt there was no difference.
However, the remaining half of the subjects considered women leaders as stronger at things such as creating a safe and respectful work environment,
- Giving equal values to employees who are from different backgrounds
- Guiding fresh recruits
- Providing fair pay and good benefits
However, according to the report, 28% of respondents were of the opinion that men were stronger at negotiating profitable deals in comparison to the women employers. Though these information points at a troubling workplace bias, but it is bias which is held by one third of the subjects who were surveyed.
In spite of all the efforts, there is still a gap that exists between the female and male on grounds of corporate leadership. In such a scenario how can a business strategize to attract and retain female leaders in their workforce, let us discuss that in the following part of the article.
A Company Culture with Equal Benefits and Equal Pay
More important of all you will have to analyze what biases that exist in your company culture. You will have to ascertain that you are focusing on certain aspects that are appealing even to subcategories of all your potential hires. By promoting such ideas, you could attract a potential female talent. Your company’s policies might offer free snacks and entertainment to the employees, but you should also promote all the aspects of your company culture that makes it unique in a way that is more appealing to all.
Also, you must periodically review the benefits your company is offering. Your company’s policies should prioritize the needs of health and welfare needs of all employee with policies like paid maternity leave and all. If your company does not provide such benefits, your management team should work to ensure that benefits that are offered are equal for all the employees, regardless of their gender.
Apart from the cultural and other organizational benefits comes the pay benefits. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, there is an average gender pay gap in the United States which is around 19.5% which can be calculated that on average, every woman in the US earns approximately 80.5 % lesser than her male counterparts. Review the transparency of your company about the prevailing salary structure. There are many global companies who have promoted transparency in salary structure by sharing every hire what all other employees are being paid, for their respective roles in the company.
This policy might, however, not work well in a company where the employees themselves want to have more privacy. Moz CEO Sarah Bird commented in one of her interviews that their company discuses salary ranges or “bands” for any given role upfront. Although the employees not exactly know about each other’s salary, they do have knowledge of the approximate salary of their fellow employees. Promoting that your company has equal pay as well as salary transparency at your ensures that all your employees no matter male or female are being fairly paid in comparison to one another.
Prefer the Mode of Representative Recruiting
Chana R. Schoenberger in a post for Fast Company, reflected on how the recruiters can engage themselves in job sessions for prospective employees on a West Coast college campus. The study was led by Shelley Correll and Alison Wynn from Stanford University, who found that those companies who are keen at campus recruitment at many times not only missed the opportunities to draw women into their organization but also drifted them away. According to Shelly and Alison, there were few things behind such attributes. Most of the campus recruitments were mostly led by male employees while the female employees handled only the sessions that were set-up to discuss company culture.
All these points indicate that there is a need for equal representation of both the genders of employees at the recruiting events. It will make the potential hires feel more comfortable to ask any queries they have about the company and they will know their voice is being valued.