It’s our belief that it’s important to create an environment where women want to work and can thrive…AND then shout about it…
From our experience and research there are some key areas that we know make a difference to women in organisations and focusing on improvements in these areas will help you to maximise the potential of women in your workplace.
- Flexible working opportunities – what flexible working opportunities do you currently have in place? how does/can that work for your organisation. How does returning after maternity leave work in practice? What are your maternity and paternity practices? Do you have or offer shared role opportunities? Do you have homeworkers? How do you/can you make flexible working work for your organisation and within specific teams? How can you improve your policies, provide support to managers to implement the policies, create best practice case studies featuring women (and men) at all levels of the organisation and share them.
- Role Models & Networking – shine a light on women making it work at all levels – showcase stories and create networking opportunities for women to share stories, inspire and learn from each other and increase their professional self-development.
- Women’s development – be a supportive proactive organisation that encourages women to put themselves forward and enable them to meet their potential, know their strengths and plan their careers. Remove barriers and create a pipeline of confident, self-aware women who can make a positive contribution at all levels.
- Create positive perceptions of the role of women within your organisation and the skills and characteristics women bring – specifically where women are working in traditionally male roles or senior roles across the organisation. Create a positive narrative and use this information to inform recruitment and promotion.
- Recruitment practices that appeal and encourage women to apply for roles – identify the right language for your organisation to appeal to women; ensure mixed and diverse recruitment panels; attract the best person for the job regardless of gender both internal and external. Be supportive of women returners; encourage female apprentices with ‘bring your daughter to work days and reach out to schools and colleges.
- Research – ask the people in your organisation to identify the barriers women face and most importantly ask them to identify the solutions, what more could you be doing?
- Coaching & mentoring – provide the support for women as and when they need it; give them access to coaching and mentoring before, during and after maternity leave; provide coaching and mentoring for aspiring leaders, for talent, for engagement, and give women opportunities, support and training to coach and mentor others.
Share and shout about the opportunities your organisation offers for and to women.
Be a trailblazing organisation in maximising the potential of women in your workplace.
We hope you found this interesting and useful. Good luck
Emma & Jenny
Emma Shute & Jenny Pollock are the founders & coaches of Women to Work. As well as designing and delivering Women’s Development Programmes, Emma & Jenny both offer one to one coaching sessions either face to face in Sheffield or Derby or by telephone or Skype. For more information contact Emma & Jenny at firstname.lastname@example.org