Understanding how we can help career advancement for women in the workplace

Understanding how we can help career advancement for women in the workplace

omen have long faced challenges with equality in the workplace. Though they've made great strides in the last few decades, they've also experienced some major setbacks in recent years. It's crucial for employers to recognize the state of women in the workplace so they can take steps to promote gender diversity and the advancement of female workers. Here, we'll take a closer look at how to encourage employee advancement for the women in your workplace, along with the ways women bring value to the companies they work for.

Acknowledging the value of women in the workforce

Workplace diversity creates notable benefits for businesses. Harvard Business Review evaluated the venture capital industry to assess the impact diversity has on financial outcomes. Only 8% of venture capitalists are women, yet companies that increased their number of female partners by 10% saw a 1.5% increase in overall annual fund returns. These businesses also had 9.7% more profitable exits in an industry where only 28.8% of all investments have a profitable exit.

Women offer value in other ways as well:

  • Having women on the board improves a company's profitability and function. Fortune 500 companies that fill at least 30% of their leadership roles with women can expect to increase their net margins by more than one percentage point. 
  • Organizations with gender diversity average a 21% increase in profitability.
  • Companies with 30% more female executives outperform their competitors with fewer women in leadership by 10 to 30%.
  • When women are in top management positions, companies produce 20% more patents.

It's crucial for businesses to maintain great leadership. Study results indicate 75% of people quit their jobs because of their boss, and 65% of employees would refuse a pay raise if it meant they could replace their boss. Women in leadership outperform men in several key areas. When employees were asked how their managers assisted and supported them through 2021, the results indicated female leaders are more likely to:

  • Provide emotional support
  • Check on employees' overall well-being
  • Ensure a manageable workload for employees
  • Help employees manage their work-life balance
  • Mitigate burnout

"Only 8% of venture capitalists are women, yet companies that increased their number of female partners by 10% saw a 1.5% increase in overall annual fund returns."

How to help career advancement for women in the workplace

Here are a few ways you can contribute to the professional development and advancement of the women in your workplace:

Give promotions based on job performance

It's not always easy to know when to promote an employee, but you can reward the women in your office by recognizing those with outstanding job performance and offering promotions based on this. While many companies promote employees based on legacy or seniority, it's often the employees who are working the hardest who are overlooked. To avoid this, hold regular performance evaluations so you can identify women in your workplace who are going above and beyond and keep them on your list of promotion considerations.

Explore each person's potential for growth

When thinking about how to improve career development in an organization, it's key to consider the growth potential of each employee. This can help you guide the women in your workplace toward professional development opportunities that will contribute to their career goals and benefit the company. For example, if one of your female employees shows great potential for growth in mentorship, you might help her advance to a leadership position where she can manage other employees and build those skills.

Consider team dynamics

If opportunities for advancement arise, an effective way to ensure the employee you choose to promote is beneficial to everyone is to consider team dynamics. Many women provide emotional support to their coworkers, meaning they can build lasting friendships and trusting bonds. Due to this, many women improve team dynamics by working well with others and having a positive attitude. Think about the team dynamics in your workplace before choosing someone to promote, and determine whether any of your female employees would enhance a team with their leadership and presence.

This is especially important in a time when remote work is popular because establishing strong team dynamics can be more challenging without having everyone in the same room. This is why women who enhance team dynamics and bring positivity to a workplace are often the perfect choice for leadership promotions, especially for companies with remote operations.

Use a global approach

One of the most important aspects of employee advancement is ensuring that the person being promoted can succeed in their new role and benefit their team and company. Due to this, it's important to consider everything when thinking about promotions, as focusing on one qualifying factor can result in unconscious bias when choosing candidates. 

For example, aside from evaluating job performance, it's also beneficial to think about how someone fits into the company culture and how they show dedication to the company's goals. If one of the women in your workplace performs consistently well and shows a deep understanding of the company culture and objectives, she may be the perfect fit for your next promotion, even if she's been in the same department for a long time.

Acknowledging the need for more women in the workforce and training managers to actively foster gender diversity can help support career advancement and progression for women. When you find strong reasons for promotion and reward the women in your workplace for their contributions to your company's success, you'll build a supportive environment where women can grow and thrive.

More tips for supporting women in the workplace

To learn more about how women appreciate work-from-home options, read about what women workers want.

For insight about the developments in gendered roles, read about how women are moving into roles that have traditionally been held by men.

To get ideas for supporting professional development for women, explore these nine strategies for women's career advancement.

If you're curious about the history of women at work, read about celebrating women's work history.

For details about the importance of equal pay, read about equal pay for women in the workplace.

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