What Women Need Now: 5 Strategies For Women’s Success


Many women face obstacles such as limited opportunities, career plateaus, lack of support, and unequal pay, making it challenging for them to succeed in the workplace. This represents a critical social and moral issue, as creating an environment conducive to women's personal and professional growth and well-being is important not only for them but also for the global economy. Despite evidence suggesting that there is no one "right" way for women to balance work, family, and other responsibilities, women must define success for themselves. Achieving alignment by doing what makes them happy and fulfilled, whether that means working full-time, part-time, or staying at home, is key. Furthermore, it is essential to recognize that women's priorities and needs are subject to change based on their age and life stages, particularly if they have children. Therefore, creating the conditions for women to excel in the workplace should begin by supporting what each woman determines to be best for herself and her family.

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To create a favorable environment for women to thrive, several measures can be taken. Firstly, companies must ensure that women receive equal opportunities for hiring, promotion, and career development. This is significant as studies indicate that women are often asked about their family plans during recruitment, and men tend to get promoted more frequently than women. Mentorship and sponsorship programs are also necessary to support women with career growth. 

Secondly, women's career paths and skills must be valued by organizations. Many women step back from career growth to focus on their families or take a break from work to care for their children, which results in resume gaps. However, women acquire several transferable skills while being caregivers that can benefit their work life. These skills include empathy, stress tolerance, time management, communication skills, advocacy, conflict management, motivation, and leadership. Organizations must appreciate these contributions and not stigmatize resume gaps.

One effective way to support mothers is by providing them with meaningful work. Many parents are willing to make sacrifices in their job for the sake of their children, as demonstrated by a recent poll conducted by KinderCare and The Harris Poll. However, parents would prefer not to have to sacrifice their personal satisfaction and fulfillment in their careers. Substantive support for mothers should come in the form of meaningful work that aligns with their skills and future aspirations. This would include clear expectations and purpose, compassionate leadership, and a respectful work environment. Opportunities for learning and growth should also be provided. By offering such support, the need for sacrifice would be reduced, resulting in better parenting and work contributions.

Organizations can provide valuable support for women by instituting childcare benefits and flexible working arrangements. Studies show that 46% of employees rank childcare benefits in their top three preferred benefits, and 69% in their top five. Unfortunately, employees often feel there is a disconnect between employers and childcare support, with 61% experiencing a lack of support in this area. Organizations can provide a range of benefits to help meet these needs, such as on-demand or subsidized childcare. Flexible working hours and locations can also help support parents, with 68% of those surveyed saying it led to increased involvement with their children. Employers who provide benefits and flexibility not only help their employees but also experience benefits such as higher employee morale and retention.

Another crucial way organizations can support women is by ensuring equal pay for equal work. There is still a gender pay gap, with only 58% of professionals surveyed believing women are paid equally for the same role. Additionally, women often experience financial stress, with many reporting difficulties paying for expenses like education and emergencies. Employers can help by educating employees on financial management and investing, which 27%, 25%, and 24% of women surveyed said they were interested in learning about, respectively. Ultimately, paying women equally for their contributions is a critical step in supporting women in the workplace, benefiting not only women, but also their families, society, and businesses as a whole.

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