Attitudes towards women in the workplace have changed a lot over the decades, with more women than ever now working in high-paying positions. However, leadership positions still tend to be dominated by men in most industries. According to recent research, women only make up 30% of leadership roles in the UK. While this is an increase from previous years, more can still be done to give equal opportunities to women in business.
Businesses that promote female leadership can benefit from new ideas and perspectives. In addition, research has shown that companies with female leaders have high employee engagement and better financial performance on average. Therefore, companies that have increased female representation aren’t just helping to create a fair society but also have the potential to improve their results. Here are some of the ways that businesses can increase female representation in leadership positions.
Offering a Women’s Leadership Program
Very often, women don’t get into leadership positions because they don’t receive the same opportunities for developing their leadership skills as men do. In addition, they might not have the confidence to apply for leadership roles. This could be because they believe they don’t have the right skills or because there aren’t enough positive role models for them to look up to. A women in leadership program can help to solve these issues.
This program is designed to help women develop the skills and confidence they need to succeed in leadership positions. The program will help women to identify their strengths while also learning more about the factors that hinder their progression within the workplace. By offering this education to women, a business can improve the opportunities that female employees have access to and give them more confidence to succeed.
Providing Greater Flexibility
Some women find that their chances of career progression suffer due to a lack of flexible working hours. This is a particular issue for women who choose to have children, as taking time off for maternity leave and childcare can limit opportunities in some workplaces. It’s important that businesses take this into account and don’t punish female employees for raising a family.
Businesses should emphasise that both men and women should benefit from programmes that speak to flexible hours and parental leave. By doing this, they can normalise the idea that either parent, regardless of gender, can serve as the primary caregiver. Employees will consequently have less pressure to live up to outdated ideas about their gender roles.
Very often, companies make the mistake of filling leadership roles by hiring outside candidates. Men are often more likely to succeed in this selection process, partially due to gender bias. However, internal hires can often be far more successful and lead to better results while also offering increased opportunities to women. Allowing for this type of opportunity won’t require instruction on your company’s rules, objectives, or systems, although they might still need support and training to help with the transition into a more senior role.
Due to the likelihood that the pool of external candidates will be overwhelmingly male, this will be especially beneficial when trying to increase the presence of women in leadership positions. Consideration of individuals with the appropriate skills rather than preference for those with board experience will assist in addressing issues inside the organisation and positively alter the structure. Within their organisations, women are promoted less frequently than men. Your employees will see that you are committed to gender equality in the workplace if you put these measures in place.