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Women in the Workplace: How to Retain Female Talent

Millions of Americans have left the workforce due to the ongoing public health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. This situation has particularly impacted female employees who had to become the primary caretakers of their children when schools and daycares closed. As a result, many women had to leave their jobs, and companies lost some of their most outstanding employees. Now companies need to spend time deciding how they can better accommodate, empower, and retain female talent with children.

I am a life coach, helping ambitious working moms become their best selves every day. Part of this is educating companies on how to better support women in the workplace, especially those with children. Using valuable insights from my clients and my own experience as a working mom, I’ve put together five suggestions for companies on how to retain female talent, both pre and postpartum.

Find Out How You Can Support Women in the Workplace

Administering a survey is one of the best ways to determine your company’s ability to hire and retain working moms. Ask open-ended questions so you can find out more about the challenges female employees face and which are the most important. If possible, allow them to give their opinion anonymously to share their feelings without worrying about retribution.

Revamp Your Company Policies & Benefits 

Once you’ve reviewed the survey, you’ll better understand the company policies and benefits that need revamping. For example, do the majority of female employees want paternity leave or extended maternity leave? Or perhaps they would prefer a more flexible work schedule? The company can also assess its employee performance evaluations, possibly changing from time-oriented to task-oriented. 

Whether female talent want to feel more involved during meetings or expectant moms require a designated parking spot, companies should accommodate the needs of women in the workplace. Listening to your female employees, and implementing change, can make it easier to retain talented pre and postpartum female employees. In doing so, you’ll not only improve your business, but women in the workplace are more likely to feel heard and acknowledged.

Start a Mentorship Program 

A study published by McKinsey, titled ‘Women in the Workplace 2020’, reveals that women may face significant roadblocks without the right mentorship and sponsorship opportunities. For example, a sponsor can amplify the voice of lower-level female talent, while a mentor can help guide women towards their career goals.

An official company mentor program is an excellent way for you to capitalize on your most fantastic resource, your employees. It also demonstrates the company’s commitment to nurturing talent and providing employees the opportunity to learn from a trusted advisor. Retaining female talent is far more likely for those companies who actively invest in their professional development. Women in these types of workplaces are also likely to be more loyal and productive. This further increases female employee retention rates.

Create an Employee Reward and Recognition Program

Every employee wants their manager to acknowledge their hard work. This recognition is especially true for pre and postpartum female employees who may quit their jobs due to feeling unappreciated, dismissed, or victim to gender inequality in the workplace. If possible, create a monthly reward and recognition program for outstanding employees. This straightforward strategy will foster a positive work culture and inspire employees to improve their work ethic. Working moms will also enjoy the positive reinforcement, especially those working from home who still want their efforts acknowledged outside the office.

Close the Wage Gap Between Your Employees

The pay gap between male and female talent is a long-standing issue of gender inequality in the workplace. It impacts female employees across all socioeconomic and racial groups in almost every industry. Companies should advocate for women in the workplace by closing the wage gap. After all, there’s a higher chance of female talent remaining loyal if they receive equal pay for equal work.

Make it Easier for Working Moms to Progress in Their Career

Are your pre and postpartum female workers anxious about potentially losing their job? Do the women in your workplace fear they’ll miss out on a promotion because of maternity leave? A top tip for supporting female workers is developing tools and creating opportunities that will allow them to advance their careers like their male counterparts. One way to do this is to focus on results, not on time spent; a great way to support a working mom’s need for flexibility. By creating opportunities for women, you can also tackle gender inequality in the workplace, encouraging female leadership and retaining your female employees in the process. 

There’s no doubt in my mind that moms are some of the hardest workers on the planet. With the right strategies and support, you can create a supportive environment for pre and postpartum women. In doing so, your company can encourage women in the workplace to thrive at all stages of life.

 

Image by Paula Photo

Women in the Workplace: The Continuing Struggle [#WorkTrends]

Women in the workforce have always faced a lack of upward mobility, unequal pay, and suppression of our talent in the workplace. Now, let’s add the pull to leave the workforce to serve as a full-time caretaker. Or the need to balance work-from-home responsibilities with distance learning, elder care, and so much more.

How do women finally break down these barriers old and new and be seen as equal contributors in the workplace?

Our Guest: Kate Bischoff, Employment Attorney and HR Professional

On this week’s episode of #WorkTrends, Kate Bischoff joins us to discuss the continuing struggle of women in the workplace. An employment attorney and human resources professional who works closely with executive and HR teams to improve their workplaces, Kate is highly qualified to talk about the most significant hurdles women face at work today. And the number one obstacle, according to Kate?

“COVID. In the last nine months, we’ve seen so many women leave the workforce. We’re back to 1988 levels of women in the workplace. This pandemic has been a crisis upon a crisis upon a crisis. And we have lost women to such a dramatic degree.”

Yes, folks, the “Shecession” is real.

Women in the Workplace: Bringing Them Back

I asked Kate her views on bringing women back into the workforce, perhaps once pandemic-caused pressures are further behind us. “The first step,” Kate said after noting women have recently had to leave their jobs and careers to take care of family, “Is to eliminate things that hamper women when they’re looking for jobs. For example, eliminate the idea that a gap in your employment is a bad thing… like you must be a bad employee.”

Another necessary step, Kate says, is a pay audit, where a company uses existing data to determine any discrepancies in how they pay people and why. Using Salesforce as an example of a transparent company, Kate said that when employers take on this critical task, they are saying to not just women, but everyone:

“We want to make sure we are compensating you for the value you bring — and we’re also making sure everyone sees that we value you appropriately.”

During our conversation, Kate shared many other insights into this continuing struggle. So grab that next cup of coffee, set aside fifteen minutes, and listen in. You’ll be glad you did!

To learn more about Kate’s work, look for her on LinkedIn and at tHRive Law & Consulting.

James Haworth

5 Steps to Making Compensation Transparency Work for Your Company

What is compensation transparency? And how does it help your company thrive now, and in the future?

Systemic racial injustice, social unrest and the pandemic have left business leaders in nearly every industry scrambling. Many struggle to find ways to cultivate an equitable and inclusive workplace. At the same time, recent protests have prompted organizations to reassess their purpose. Many have taken a powerful stand for what they believe in. Others have begun cultivating a culture where everyone has equal opportunity to fulfill their dreams.

Against this backdrop, employers are under heightened scrutiny from employees, customers, investors and communities. Now more than ever, they are expected to take bold action and create radical change within their organizations.

And radical change often starts with transparency.

For instance, research from PayScale discovered that the gender wage gap closed completely with increased transparency for 73% of industries and organizations. This means companies must commit to doing what’s right over what’s easy. It also means taking a hard look at their compensation structures to make salary transparency a top priority.

Yet equal pay is far from a set-it-and-forget-it policy. It requires diligent, intentional and consistent analysis. Also required: Iteration and measurement to ensure compliance with late-breaking employee expectations and legal regulations.

As an HR leader, consider these five steps to ensure that transparency remains at the center of your compensation strategy.

Identify Existing Pay Gaps and Disparities

Your company can relatively quickly eliminate pay inequities. Start by performing an audit to include analyzing salary structures and reviewing job descriptions to ensure they accurately reflect the requirements and demands of the position. Then examine and document various circumstances that may justify pay differentials.

For example, you may be able to support pay differences when employees meet the preferred qualifications for a position. Or when they’ve assumed additional responsibility or when their performance is superior.  Ultimately, the cost of identifying and correcting pay inequities will likely be outweighed by the benefits. Those benefits include increased employee morale, retention of a dynamic and diverse workforce, and much more.

Determine an Appropriate Level of Transparency

The next step is to assess your company’s level of comfort with pay transparency. For instance, publishing pay ranges for each position may be a great first start. If your company already has some transparency in place, you might be ready to make the leap to complete transparency. This involves publishing the compensation of individual employees (instead of ranges) externally, internally or both.

Whole Foods and Buffer, for example, have fully embraced the power of pay transparency by disclosing exactly how much everyone in the company makes – from the intern to the CEO. Yes, this strategy can be fraught with fear and overwhelming for many. When implemented correctly, though, the pros far outweigh the cons.

Transparency typically results in greater trust among the team, increased accountability for pay equity, and a rise in job applications from diverse applicants. Complete transparency, however, isn’t for every company. So, it’s critical to evaluate what level is appropriate for your employees, brand and business objectives.

Clarify Compensation Potential by Embracing New Technologies

Equal opportunity is timeless, but equal pay technologies are not.

To address the need for greater transparency, many companies, including Codacy, Buffer and Gitlab, have created salary calculators prospective candidates can use to determine what they’d make if they were brought onboard the organization. These calculations typically include the base salary for a specific role coupled with the minimum job requirements (as they relate to career advancement and market realities).

Other companies have invested in innovative technologies and cloud-based software to automate, simplify and streamline the equal pay process. By clearly explaining pay and pay practices—such as the relationship between pay and experience, performance, qualifications, and other data—you can build trust between employees and thereby bolster loyalty and engagement.

Encourage Feedback from Employees

In today’s unpredictable economic climate, employees may fear they’re expendable. Their focus and performance may deteriorate as a result. You can set your employees’ minds at ease by encouraging feedback regarding business objectives. Implementing pulse surveys and organizing town halls to gather input on pay equity and transparency best practices is also beneficial.

The key: Open communication that helps business leaders better understand what employees feel and experience while encouraging a diverse flow of ideas.

Coach How to Successfully Navigate Compensation Conversations

Perhaps most importantly, it’s imperative to coach managers on the art of compassionate communication as it relates to compensation – from new hires to the most senior team members.

For example, if the initial compensation is misaligned for a new hire, that inequity will perpetuate over time and tenure with a company. Additionally, if salaries are broadcasted publicly, employees may ask why they’re not making as much as someone else in a similar position. So, as part of these conversations, managers should set clear expectations and articulate the criteria for performance and pay progressions. That way, every employee understands the steps necessary to earn an increase in pay.

Ultimately, employers that change the framework for compensation conversations—and empower their teams with the direction needed to advance—are most likely to succeed.

At the end of the day, companies that create equitable workplaces retain employees who feel respected, valued, inspired, and encouraged to reach their full potential. When executed successfully, compensation transparency increases organizational diversity, productivity and profitability.

At the same time, open and equitable pay helps turn employees into brand ambassadors who deliver unparalleled performance.

Gender Pay Gap: The Numbers Still Don't Add Up

The world of work has become fairly sophisticated, with laws and business norms that support equitable career opportunities for all. However, there’s still plenty of room for progress — especially in terms of pay.

Studies show that compensation for women still lags behind men in the same role. Furthermore, men still outnumber women in professions that are typically lucrative, such as science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

The infographic below, compiled by MedReps.com (an online resource for desirable medical and pharmaceutical sales jobs), reveals various aspects of the gender pay gap — with a selection of insights by location, industry, occupation and title. Here are several noteworthy takeaways:

•  The United States ranks 22nd in the world, overall, in gender pay disparity;
•  On average, female doctors earn $56,000 a year less than males;
•  The female-to-male earnings ratio in the construction industry is 92%, while in the financial industry lags behind at only 72%.

Check out the full infographic below and share your thoughts with us in the comments area.

What do you think? What are some reasons why there’s still a gender pay gap? And what can we do to improve these statistics?

(Image Credit: Ken Teegardin at Flickr.com)

Gender Pay Gap: The Numbers Still Don’t Add Up

The world of work has become fairly sophisticated, with laws and business norms that support equitable career opportunities for all. However, there’s still plenty of room for progress — especially in terms of pay.

Studies show that compensation for women still lags behind men in the same role. Furthermore, men still outnumber women in professions that are typically lucrative, such as science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

The infographic below, compiled by MedReps.com (an online resource for desirable medical and pharmaceutical sales jobs), reveals various aspects of the gender pay gap — with a selection of insights by location, industry, occupation and title. Here are several noteworthy takeaways:

•  The United States ranks 22nd in the world, overall, in gender pay disparity;
•  On average, female doctors earn $56,000 a year less than males;
•  The female-to-male earnings ratio in the construction industry is 92%, while in the financial industry lags behind at only 72%.

Check out the full infographic below and share your thoughts with us in the comments area.

What do you think? What are some reasons why there’s still a gender pay gap? And what can we do to improve these statistics?

(Image Credit: Ken Teegardin at Flickr.com)