Many women today face huge hurdles when striving for equality in the workplace. Despite many organisations pushing for gender balance, progress is slow. As a result, many women are sceptical when developing their careers. But if you are willing to progress despite the challenges, there are many ways to do this. 

Here are some ways women can professionally develop effectively.

  1. Learn How to Utilise social media 

Social media platforms have changed we do things - from interacting with family and friends to searching for job opportunities. And with remote work on the rise, it's more important than ever that women will learn to use social media to connect and network with people within their professional network. There are many different ways social media can impact careers and help women to develop professionally.

The main advantage of social media is it can reach a wide range of people. Such an approach allows you to significantly expand your career search and open yourself up to numerous possibilities. In addition, social media is cheaper than traditional mediums for searching for jobs. It's easy to use, fast and efficient. When you post your desire to expand your career, your posts can be shared repeatedly, broadening your reach beyond your networks. 

Another advantage of social media is that many employers use the platform when looking for qualified candidates. Professional social network sites like LinkedIn are specifically designed for networking and establishing business connections, making social media a multifaceted tool.

  1. Develop Personally 

Women should recognise that education should not stop after they finish school. Learning should be continuous if you want to improve your skillset and develop effectively. For instance, you can learn how to communicate better, stay resilient, adopt a growth mindset, and improve your ability to deal with stress. Thankfully, you will find great online courses to help you develop personally and hone your skills. The best part is that these courses are free. 

Personal growth helps you reach your full potential, allowing you to become the best version of yourself even after you are no longer at school. Aside from helping your career, personal development can positively impact other areas of your life. When you grow personally, you can start setting new goals to achieve, allowing you to get excited about trying new things. As you see the results of your personal growth, your confidence will improve, and you'll be more motivated to achieve other goals. 

Personal growth in the workplace can help you advance your skillsets. Those who invest in themselves can identify areas they are good at and look for ways to improve. Doing so helps to ensure you have the relevant skills to progress your career and make you more marketable for future employers.

  1. Seek Feedback from Peers to Aid Development 

Feedback is essential for effective learning. It boosts confidence and improves motivation to learn. Therefore, women should seek feedback from peers, as it serves as an effective method for facilitating development. If you receive feedback at work, you will get a clear idea of things you are doing well and what you need to improve, allowing you to do better in your career. 

Do not wait to receive feedback about your performance. Ask for performance feedback by speaking to your colleagues. Offer advice in exchange for feedback. Set up formal meetings with your team leader to discuss your work performance and gather inputs about your performance. Try to get into the habit of asking for feedback from colleagues or clients from other departments after you finish a project.

Constructive feedback can be an effective tool for career development. It also helps employees feel more satisfied with their job by increasing success and improving their attitude towards professional development. In fact, the best managers take the time to provide meaningful feedback that can significantly improve workplace performance. 

  1. Understand and Practice Diversity and Inclusion Values

Women should learn to embrace diversity and inclusion in the workplace. A diverse workplace is one where a company employs individuals of different characteristics. By nurturing a more accepting and diverse work culture, women can experience a substantial positive effect on their professional careers.

It's worth noting that diversity and inclusion are two different concepts. Diversity refers to the representation or the makeup of an entity, while inclusion is how well the presence of various groups of individuals is valued and integrated into the workplace. It's a work environment where people from different races, nationalities, and genders work together to achieve a common goal.

Diversity and productivity often go hand in hand. What this means is that a diverse workplace can increase productivity. Research shows that diversifying an organisation can boost productivity by up to 35%. A diverse workforce can boost employee morale and motivate employees to work more efficiently, leading to improved productivity.

  1. Learn to Network Effectively 

Women should be more open to networking to grow their professional network. Active networking is essential to career growth. While many frown upon the idea of networking and associate it with awkwardness due to the thought of selling yourself to others, it can benefit you in many ways. 

Networking is an essential skill to master, regardless of your industry. With the right approach, networking can offer opportunities to establish mutually beneficial relationships with other professionals in your industry. Once you have built a solid professional network, you will be among the first to know in your field if companies are looking to hire new professionals. 

Networking can come in different forms. It can be as simple as an informal chat with your neighbourhood or attending professional networking events. Either way, the goal is to establish a line of communication and build relationships relevant to your professional career. Aside from strengthening your professional network connections, networking can give you access to various job opportunities.

Networking is also a perfect opportunity to gather more insights about your industry and stay abreast of the latest developments. Having a wider network of informed and interconnected contacts will give you broader access to new and valuable industry information.