In India, women are rapidly taking the lead in sports, politics, the arts, business, and the social sector. Empowering women in the workplace can have a positive influence today and in the future. According to research, when women are well-represented at the top levels of a business, profitability and stock performance can increase by 50%.
According to a study by the consulting firm Grant Thornton, 98 per cent of Indian companies have a woman in senior management, compared to 90 per cent globally. Nonetheless, many women face gender discrimination, workplace bias, restricted mentoring, deep-seated misogyny, and skewed HR practises at work.
The COVID-19 epidemic affects almost everyone’s work and personal lives, but early evidence and reports show that women have been disproportionately affected. According to the 10th edition of the LinkedIn Workforce Confidence Index, the COVID-19 pandemic is causing approximately 47 per cent of working Indian women to experience increased worry or anxiety.
This ratio was 38 per cent for men, indicating a disproportionate burden on women in these difficult circumstances. Such economic downturns disproportionately harm women and cause gender equality issues to fall lower on business agendas.
According to a McKinsey analysis, women’s jobs were 1.8 times riskier than men’s during the pandemic. While reports claim that the COVID-19 issue has demonstrated the extraordinary leadership talents of female leaders worldwide, there is still more work to be done in our country to guarantee more significant gender equity and pay parity among male and female employees.
Here are a few ways to empower and promote women in the workplace at the organizational level:
Organizations must comprehend the impact of gender diversity and how teams with a “balanced” gender mix outperform teams with a “balanced” gender mix on critical metrics such as revenue and growth. An organization can attract a broader pool of talent, have various perspectives, and foster greater collaboration by maintaining a healthy gender ratio.
As a result, firms must make more efforts to recruit female employees at all levels. Many industries are striving to enhance women’s participation in the workforce, thanks to hybrid work patterns and an increase in demand for digital talent.
According to GoDaddy’s 2020 worldwide diversity data, women make up 30% of the company’s entire population, compared to 19% of technical positions and 36% of non-technical roles globally. Other IT firms, like Wipro, HCL Technologies, and Infosys expect to hire more women through college placements this year.
These businesses emphasize the importance of providing opportunities for women and encouraging gender diversity in the workplace. If full-time female employees are not an option, firms can hire a diverse mix of contract or gig workers to reap the benefits of having women collaborate.
Equal pay for all
Despite attempts over the last few decades to close the pay gap, it continues to exist. For the same job, women are predicted to earn 20% less than males. Closing the wage gap between men and women is critical for women’s economic stability.
Organizations can reduce pay disparities by fostering openness and allocating salaries according to market standards. They must also endeavour to eliminate unconscious prejudice across all industries, particularly in recruitment, performance reviews, and career development.
While a Glassdoor study predicts that gender pay parity will not be eliminated until 2070, several firms have already taken steps to eradicate pay parity at the ground level. GoDaddy, for example, reported in its 2020 Diversity Report that women earn one penny more per dollar than males in technological areas, and women earn $1.00 for every $1.00 a man makes in non-technical professions.
Stopping Violence against women.
Despite its widespread prevalence, workplace violence and sexual harassment go unreported for fear of ridicule, blame, or social and professional punishment. Apart from the psychological and emotional harm that harassment brings to victims, it also hurts businesses.
Many studies have indicated that workplace harassment often drives women to leave their employment, taking their ideas, relationships, and opportunities for progress. For these organizations, it’s almost like a brain drain. Even though some organizations have adopted a work-from-home approach since the outbreak of COVID-19 last year, sexual harassment allegations continue to occur.
According to the National Commission for Women’s database, 125 complaints of sexual harassment of women have been received thus far in 2021. Organizations should take a zero-tolerance policy to harassment and make it plain that harassment will be punished equally across the board, regardless of the employee’s position. In such circumstances, remedial activities should also be known to all, as this can help create a benchmark for the business.
All employees should be required to follow strict anti-harassment policies and receive sexual harassment prevention training.