Written by Guest Author | July 31, 2015
Most clients of the average recruitment agency in Exeter have gone well past the point at which they needed to be told of the benefits of a gender diverse workplace.
It is now widely understood that a more female-friendly workplace also generates better returns. But how well reflected is that in your own organisation?
If your office is still looking a little too ‘blokey’ for its own good, here are the steps that you can take to turn things around.
Make sure your executives actually care
Are your organisation’s leaders convinced that a balanced mix of genders on their payroll is a good thing for business? Or is it something that they feel the need to ‘go along with’ for reasons of morality or political correctness?
Those in the latter category are much more likely to be deterred from hiring female staff on the basis of such discriminatory factors as maternity leave. The truth is, your executives need to take a strong stand in favour of gender diversity if it is to actually happen.
Take female-friendly actions
It’s one matter for your firm’s head honchos to publicly commit to making women more central to the way they do business – but it’s a different matter entirely to take the concrete actions to back it up.
Is such a commitment enshrined through company equal opportunities and sexual harassment policies? Do women play a big part in your hiring decisions? Do your existing female staff feel safe and supported in your workplace?
How aware are their male colleagues of gender-related issues, and what are your line managers doing to actively support a more female-friendly working environment?
Accommodate the need for work-life balance
With some cultures still struggling to accept even today that women should be more than just homemakers, it could hardly be more important to make it easier for female employees to fit in their work and home commitments.
Flexible work arrangements and other more gender-specific support can certainly go a long way to achieving this. However, you should remember to give your male colleagues similar freedoms if you are to avoid potential acrimony between the genders.
Seize on your female staff’s potential
Finally, female-friendly companies also do everything possible to provide their high-performing women with relevant support and opportunities. These could range from the assignment of suitable mentors and coaches to the nomination of women for specific training and development opportunities.
Don’t ever underestimate the value to your company of becoming truly female-friendly, not least in attracting and developing the very best female talent. It is these women, after all, who can make a major contribution to your bottom line.