Creating a Women-Friendly Workplace
It seems you can’t turn on the news these days without hearing another story about sexism in the workplace. Top companies like Google, Uber, Fox News, Yahoo and the President of the United States have found themselves under that glaring spotlight. When that spotlight is on your company, what will it show?
Some cases of sexism in the workplace are clear and glaring while others are ingrained and maybe even subtle, based on longstanding stereotypes. It can be hidden in language and policies that may not be deliberately discriminatory, but ultimately sexist attitudes are pervasive and they have a dramatic impact on women’s earning potential.
At the very least companies, organizations and educational institutions must remove overtly hostile parts of the work environment.
Too often, those in positions of leadership are operating under an implicit and unconscious bias and when those same individuals get together to decide gender-related policies, it is done behind closed doors in invitation-only meetings. It is in these exclusive meetings where a handful of management (often only men) decide how to address issues impacting women according to their own faulty perceptions.
Victoria defines practices and attitudes that contribute to a hostile workplace and she describes actions businesses and organizations can take to create a female-friendly workplace. Those include;
- Actively recruiting women
- Actively promote women
- Providing professional development opportunities for women
- Develop and enforce zero-tolerance harassment policies
- Supporting women with children or elderly parents
Victoria Steele has worked as a journalist, mental health counselor and state legislator and she has heard countless stories of the harmful effects of sexism. She talks about how to create a workplace environment that is equally friendly to men and women and why that is a benefit to your company and your community.