When Vice President Kamala Harris was sworn into office on January 20, it was a historic day for America — and for women across the country. The Inauguration Day ceremony cemented Harris as the highest ranking female official in U.S. history — in addition to making her the first African American and first Asian American to become the vice president.
Vice President Harris’ journey to the White House — from being a first-generation American to running the nation’s second largest justice department as the Attorney General of California and championing social justice and equity laws as a senator — is inspiring. Her triumphant story is one of the many increasing the prominence of women in the workplace every day. This includes the growth in female representation across all levels of the corporate landscape — from entry level to C-suite.
The shrinking gap is encouraging, but the work is far from over. It’s vital that companies continue this forward momentum by prioritzing gender inclusive practices for women in the workplace.
The importance of prioritizing the inclusion of women in the workplace
While it’s important for employees to have a common goal in mind, it’s diversity that drives innovation. Prioritizing the inclusion of women in the workplace provides opportunities for women to strive for and achieve long-term career goals.
This practice not only allows employers to leverage the unique ideas and experiences of a more diverse and talented field of employees, but it also contributes to better overall employee well-being and profit margins. It’s a practice that displays how employers can show care and celebrate women in the workplace every day.
7 ways to celebrate women in the workplace every day
In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, let’s look at seven actions your company can take to create more meaningful and caring experiences for women in the workplace every day.
1. Make supporting women-owned businesses your business
According to a report from American Express, growth in women-owned businesses in the U.S. increased by 58% from 2007 to 2018. Additionally, businesses owned by African American women had the highest growth rate between 2017 and 2018. Is your organization supporting or partnering with any of these businesses? With the exponential growth of women-owned businesses over the past decade-plus, there are many opportunities for employers to intentionally incorporate the products and services of women-owned businesses into the workplace.
Including women-owned businesses in all aspects of your organization makes it more wholly representative of your employees, customers and surrounding communities. Examples of this include leveraging women-owned businesses throughout your supply chain and inviting women of color as guests for speaking engagements.
2. Celebrate the history and achievements of women in your organization, industry and community
Every company has a rich backstory — and nearly all of these stories involve women. Encourage your employees to discover information about these pioneers and trailblazers by highlighting the history and achievements of women in your organization, industry or community. You can celebrate these inspiring women of the past, present and future by sharing their stories in company newsletters, on your company website and throughout your internal employee communication solutions.
3. Celebrate the specific achievements and history of women of color
Research from Catalyst reveals that people of color comprise nearly 40% of the U.S. population. While the nation is becoming more diverse, the representation of minority women in the workplace is still relatively low. Highlighting the achievements and history of women of color not only makes your workplace more inclusive, but it also normalizes their experiences. There are several resources for learning about the history and achievements of minority women in America.
- The National Women’s History Museum highlights female trailblazers in Asian American cultures.
- The National Museum of the American Indian has resources on the rich history and cultures of Native American women.
- The National Museum of African American History & Culture offers info on the history and achievements of Black women in America.
- Harvard’s research institute includes an expansive collection of research, data and publications related to the history and cultures of Latinx women in America.
4. Encourage employees to volunteer and donate to local women’s organizations
Encouraging employees to volunteer and donate time and money to women’s organizations is a great way to support the organizations that directly impact the lives of women in your community. You can contact a women’s shelter in your area to find out ways you can help. You can also start your own social giving campaign and encourage employees to donate funds to support women’s organizations in your community.
5. Support young women through professional mentorship
Creating opportunities for your employees to mentor is an invaluable way to inspire and encourage young women to discover their passions and achieve their career-oriented goals. Offering professional guidance and sharing your personal experiences — regardless of your gender — may help prepare the next generation of women for successful careers. There are many great organizations that focus on professional mentoring for young women.
- Black Girls Code offers classes, programs and resources that equip women and girls of color with the tools to build successful careers in the tech industry.
- Girls Inc. is an advocacy service that offers mentoring and resources for empowering girls to become independent thinkers and leaders.
- Girls for a Change gives young women of color opportunities to impact their communities through involvement in projects that drive social change and positivity.
- Employment Resource Groups (ERGs) are great for providing mentorship to women that aligns with your organization’s values.
6. Organize women-centric group activities for employees
Encouraging your employees to participate in group activities inspires both personal and professional growth and connection. It may also help your organization expand its approach to showing care for women in the workplace. There are several activities that can bring your employees together over women-centric topics.
- Small-group discussions can facilitate a trusting and safe environment to talk about women’s causes and experiences in the workplace.
- Book clubs and listening or viewing parities promote the work of women in arts, entertainment and athletics. Having discussions centered around the best in female-centric film, television, music, sports, literature and podcasts can expand your employees’ cultural knowledge and understanding of the female experience.
- Attending conferences or events that focus on women in the workplace will expand how your company shows employee care. Limeade Engage, our annual event taking place on Tuesday, March 9, will feature sessions with prominent experts addressing how to elevate the employee experience through the inclusion of women. Register for free.
7. Support female leadership across your company
With Fortune 500 companies expecting to have a record number of female CEOs by the end of 2021, organizations are seeing increases of women across all levels of leadership. The growth in women leading teams, departments and companies coincides with the need for organizations to provide support that allows women to thrive in the workplace. This includes providing additional training to discover and develop skills, involving women in high-profile projects, creating a collaborative and communicative work environment and advocating for women in leadership.
Prioritizing the inclusion of women in the workplace brings society closer to normalizing the experiences of all women. Creating meaningful and caring experiences for women shows your commitment to the well-being of all employees — which is definitely worth celebrating.
Ready to address the whole employee experience? Learn about Limeade Well-Being, the only comprehensive approach to employee well-being.