International Women’s Day 2022 — How HR can enhance celebrating women in the workplace

8th March 2022

Celebrating women and their successes on International Women’s Day 2022 (IWD) is a great way  to build employee happiness and trust.

For some women, it can be difficult to feel empowered in the workplace. According to experts at shrm.org, pay equality and concerns about harassment rank as two of the top issues women still face in the workplace. Others include:

  • Finding and keeping valuable mentors. 
  • Progress in moving above middle management into the C-suite. 
  • Parental leave and flexible scheduling.

IWD is an ideal opportunity to uplift the women in your organisation and show them that you appreciate their work, you hear their voices and you value their place in the company.

As the International Women’s Day website explains, “We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements.”

Some ideas for how to empower women in the workplace include:

  • Recognising female leaders with internal spotlight messages.
  • Inviting speakers to discuss women’s issues or women’s progress at work.
  • Creating a female empowerment affinity group. 
  • Issue messages from senior leadership committing to long-term advancement of women.

Making the effort to show your appreciation for hard work across teams shouldn’t be exclusive to one day of the year. HR and leaders should strive to make positive changes every day to empower and motivate the women in your teams.

This article discusses how you can support women on International Women’s Day and beyond.

Celebrate success

HR leaders should aim to attract and retain top talent for their organisations. One great way to create a supportive culture, and keep talented women on your teams, is to celebrate success regularly.

Foster an inclusive learning and career growth culture and advocate for each employee. This will create drive and appreciation for all team members.

Mentoring programmes

Beyond celebrating International Women’s Day, HR departments may also consider holding offsite events throughout the year for all employees.

Creating fun and engaging experiences outside the workplace helps generate ideas and innovations because employees aren’t mentally blocked by their daily routine. Whether employees are doing yoga on a mountaintop or participating in art projects, real and authentic conversations can start to happen naturally.

In addition, the HR team should provide access to external courses to develop skills for all individuals.. Encouraging continued learning builds confidence and improves loyalty to the company. 

Consider:

  • Are personal and professional development goals available?
  • Do you regularly assess the recruitment process?
  • Are there enough opportunities for women to progress through the ranks?

Monitor the pay gap

Based on the rate of change over the last nine years, experts say it would take 112 years to close the gender pay gap in the UK. 

The self-worth of women who are paid less for doing the same work causes loss of motivation and makes them feel unvalued. As a result, women tend to leave their jobs at over 3 times the rate of their male colleagues.

HR leaders have the power to make a difference for their teams and work towards boosting the morale of women with insufficient pay. Using cloud-based HR platforms is a good way to collate information about who is falling behind and take results to more senior members to enact change.

Commit to removing barriers

Show your commitment to removing barriers beyond International Women’s Day by:

  • Writing a pledge.
  • Promising regular evaluations.
  • Be transparent about organisational changes.
  • Encourage consistent employee feedback through cloud-based platforms like Trickle. This will help you gauge how your workforce is feeling and highlight what you need to do to make your people feel more heard, seen and valued.

Providing flexibility

What benefits do you offer families in your workforce? 

Studies show that women spend 7.7 more hours per week on childcare than men, which totals around 31.5 hours — that’s almost an extra full-time job.

Remote working has already increased dramatically since COVID, motivating changes in policies to provide more flexibility for families.

More can always be done. Consider asking your female employees how they feel about childcare for younger children or a 4-day work week to avoid burnout. 

These considerations show that you genuinely care about the wellbeing of the women in your teams. It’s all about doing what you can do to make sure their needs are met!

Celebrate all women

Women of colour

There are over 20.6 million women in the UK’s working age population of which 14% are Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME).

Studies show that almost half (45%) of Black women working in white-collar jobs in the UK are overlooked for promotion despite having equal competence as a non-Black female colleague. 

84% of BAME women in senior management positions also experience regular racial bias once they get there.

Here are a few ways HR can make sure BAME women feel included and respected in the workplace:

  • Commit to being an equal opportunities employer.
  • Don’t shy away from difficult conversations. For example, acknowledge Black Lives Matter by actively supporting the BAME community through fundraising initiatives, collaborating with charities as well as donations for food banks and youth groups where relevant.
  • Internal anti-racism activities. For example, providing information to your peopleon what you’re doing to support marginalised groups and how you plan on empowering your teams.

Trans women

A totaljobs study found that 53% of trans women experience more barriers to progress to senior positions at work. 56% say it’s harder for them to find a job in the first place.

Make sure the trans women in your organisation feel included in the celebrations on International Women’s Day this year. You can do this by:

  • Including statistics for trans women in any studies or articles you share.
  • Select trans-inclusive charities to donate to.
  • Hold internal diversity training on simple ways to make trans women feel welcome, understood and valued, i.e. using correct names and pronouns — it’s OK to ask!

The LGBTQ+ community

The LBWomen survey revealed that 64% of professional LBTQ+ women have negative experiences at work — especially inappropriate language.

Supporting your LGBTQ+ team members means:

  • Taking discrimination seriously.
  • Offering support programmes.
  • Present senior staff as allies.
  • Create a passionately supportive, uplifting and inclusive working culture.

Want to learn more about inclusivity? Here’s some further reading:

Using Trickle to celebrate women in the workplace

Equality begins with respect. With Trickle, your people have a safe space to share their experiences, helping them feel empowered and included. Promote gender equality with the following Trickle functions:

  • Activity feed — this is your place to have open and fun group conversations. This instant messaging tool gives everyone a voice to boost inclusivity.
  • Fist Bump — this is a great way to give praise; to recognise someone for their efforts and encourage peer-to-peer support. All proven ways to increase job satisfaction, teamwork and boost morale.
  • Shout Abouts — these spread positivity and boost engagement by sharing important company news and celebrating team wins. These announcements appear in the Activity Feed for everyone to see and high-five virtually.
  • MoodSense — this lets you gauge employee feelings in real-time, helping you identify where grievances lie so that you can jump on issues before they become long-term problems.
  • Flares — these allow employees to anonymously flag any issues they’ve experienced at work, from problems with policies and salaries to highlighting mistreatment from fellow employees.

Get in touch for more information or to book a short 20 minute demo. You can trial Trickle absolutely free

 

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