The pandemic has shaken nearly every aspect of society. The current crisis has impacted genders differently. Though the majority of those who have died of the virus are men, women face the brunt of disproportionate societal implications.
While women who are health professionals, scientists, community volunteers, and logistic managers are in the frontlines fighting the virus, back at home, women not only face the increased risk of domestic and sexual violence but might also have to sacrifice their jobs should the need arise in light of the pandemic.
Working parents are typically reliant on external care, such as school or childcare services, to care for their children and household while sustaining employment. However, because of the shelter-in-place regulations and state lockdowns, women are not only expected to excel in their full-time jobs but also do exceptionally well in being a parent, caregiver, housekeeper, and homeschool teacher.
Though nowadays, more and more women hold executive roles, the societal expectation that they should be able to juggle career and family life remains. Being a woman in these times is more challenging than ever. Support is what women need during this time to survive.
Though the issue of salary gap and workplace discrimination needs to be addressed, companies and employers can do the following things in their work environment to emanate women empowerment:
Offer Help and Be Approachable
Female rivalry is a favorite concept of the public. Everyone never tires of hearing a good old story about one woman fighting with another. Television shows and movies are an excellent example of that, and they make a lot of money off of it.
The subconscious belief that there are simply not enough seats for all of us in the proverbial table andthat we have to fight our way to it is perhaps the reason why we tear each other down instead of helping each other up. Even some men in the corporate world suffer from this belief.
This female rivalry is the antithesis to women empowerment, the power struggle women have been trying to break for centuries. The reason why some men do not take the fight for empowerment seriously is that we compete with each other in an unhealthy way. Nonetheless, by being an approachable and helpful female coworker, you radiate an attitude that leans toward empowering women.
Help Them Connect with the Right People
It is said that you are the sum of the five people you often spend time with. This is also true in the professional world. Being in touch with people who can support and mentor you makes you become a better version of yourself. Thus, introduce your female coworkers to other professionals who can help them increase their knowledge and access resources that they need to improve and grow in their careers.
Empower your female coworkers by encouraging them to join mentoring programs and workshops, such as team leadership training. By doing so, you pave the way for them to feel inspired to journey the corporate ladder, speak up for themselves, and put on concrete plans to avoid being undervalued, undermined, or overlooked in the workplace.
Most employers or those on top corporate management positions think that adults have outgrown the need for praises. This, however, is a widely held misconception. Whatever your gender or sex is, you need recognition for any job well done. Accordingly, one of the most common reasons why people leave an organization is the lack of recognition.
Lift your fellow female colleagues by acknowledging their accomplishments, particular skills, and unique perspectives on different fields. Furthermore, allow women in your workplace to conveytheir ideas. This way, you can figure out a practical but unique solution to a company problem and promote women empowerment.
Promote Women in Leadership Roles
Promoting women to management and executive positions diversify leadership. Having a diverse working environment is advantageous for the company's performance goals and overall innovation. A diverse team in the workplace results in better and more sustainable decisions. Moreover, a diverse leadership in a company facilitates the discussion and identification of discrimination issues in the workplace.
In this era, companies must ensure that both men and women are well-represented in making COVID-related processes. This current crisis is an avenue to overthrow gender stereotypes, change standard narratives, and show that taking care of the family while fostering strong leadership skills can and should be shared responsibilities.