Women’s History Month is the perfect time to ensure your office is a great place to work for women. Here are tips on how!
By Jordyn Coleman
In the United States, March 1st marks the beginning of Women’s History Month, a celebration that applauds the contributions of women from American history and beyond.
However, in terms of equality, women and genderqueer individuals still face struggles. In the spirit of Women’s History Month, we’d like to give insight into creating a great place to work for anyone of any gender identification. Keep reading to learn more.
To tackle any in-office diversity and inclusion efforts, you have to acknowledge your company’s gaps on the matter. Identifying areas of bias can help you target what needs to change.
As a jumping-off point, start asking questions, including:
👉 What structures in our office are supported by gender bias?
👉 How do our practices, processes, and systems possibly uphold and reinforce gender bias?
👉 Do I have a bias that contributes to gender inequality?
👉 What have I experienced in the office that had me question the company’s values around gender equality?
👉 You may not have the answer right away, and that’s okay. Spotting your own bias is difficult, but the Poorvu Center at Yale has excellent tips for doing so.
In many instances, people aren’t aware they hold bias. This makes acknowledging it even more difficult, especially on a company-wide scale. However, educational opportunities can help people understand their prejudices, their negative impact, and how to challenge them.
The education approach needs to have a company-wide reach. It should include the highest executives to the newest hires.
Help everyone learn the harms of gender-based stereotypes and discrimination. One of the most important aspects to understand is not all women, or non-binary individuals are the same. Each person faces a unique set of challenges based on other areas in their lives, like class, race, and even where they’ve lived.
UN Women Training Courses has excellent courses to consider, but you can also check out offerings at local universities. If you’re looking for an engaging educational experience that celebrates gender and women’s history, plan an activity in our Women’s History Month collection.
Education provides a structural understanding, but it doesn’t lead to automatic change. How the knowledge is applied is what matters most.
Taking easy, concrete actions will be the most significant catalyst for ending workplace gender bias. Here are a few ideas to start with:
🎯 Work with HR or People Ops to create clear benchmarks for promotions and stick to them.
🎯 Offer a general paternity leave instead of a maternal leave, allowing all parents bonding time with their newborn.
🎯 Review your health insurance policy to ensure coverages for trans employees. The Human Rights Campaign has a great outline of what this includes and how little it costs.
🎯 Perform regular data reviews on promotions, hiring, compensation, and more to see where gender discrepancies are.
🎯 Remove gender markers on resumes when reviewing potential hiring candidates.
🎯 Ensure any talent pools for new hires or promotions are diverse, including women and non-binary people.
🎯 Revisit company employee salaries and determine if people in similar positions receive equal pay across genders.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article and taking steps toward making your workplace better for everyone. Remember: direct action always works best, but awareness and understanding give change a foundation to stand on. 🎬
If you’d like to throw a Women’s History Month event, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to help!