Two words, Appreciation Matters

Post Covid-19 lockdown, the consequences of the pandemic are still being felt. Women today are finding that their levels of productivity have been severely impaired; it is sadly not uncommon for women to be experiencing burnout. Moreover, with skyrocketing childcare costs leading more and more families to reconsider their dedication towards work – women must be aware that this can affect both motherhood as well as career aspirations and needs.

As the CEO and co-founder of Netwomen, an initiative devoted to supporting and connecting women, I have observed first-hand how high performing females have been affected by all these factors.

I firmly believe that there is a vast chasm between what employers believe women need and what they desire.

At the moment, our desire for flexibility and plentiful paid family leave are at an all-time high. However, these standards have become tantamount expectations – it is impossible to imagine society without them.

What is the secret to keeping women from quitting their jobs? It’s simple: ensure they feel valued.

Here’s how:

1. Re-examine Practices as well as Policies

The experience an employee has at work is not just determined by company policies, but also the way managers conduct themselves. This dynamic relationship creates a unique and varied trajectory for each individual as they continue to interact with their employers.

Management specialists must enforce policies that ensure all employees feel safe taking advantage of any perks without fear of reprisals or proximity bias.

To ensure equitable representation among our employees, we must actively champion the cause of women on all levels of staff – both when they’re physically present and when they are not. Furthermore, we should make sure that those who have been granted paid leave or are remote from their desks don’t fall through the cracks for potential career advancement opportunities.

2. Pay Increases

By 2022, women who contemplated leaving their positions were almost twice as likely to express a desire for financial actions from employers than those remaining at work.

The women consider pay transparency a vital component in retaining their workforce, yet few explicitly refer to any workplace policies.

Learning and development is an important priority for employers, yet many prefer not to invest in this type of benefit. Investing in opportunities such as mentoring skill-building can be a powerful catalyst that provides women with more pay and helps close the gender gap.

3. Promotions

Women are clamouring for more influence in the workforce. For many, this might be realized through a promotion to an elevated position.

Only 25% of C-suite members are women and 5% are women of colour. Many corporations fail to effectively implement leadership diversity plans due to their lack of enthusiasm in succession planning and leadership programs.

Employers should consider periodic promotions as opposed to an occasional campaign, in order to create a level playing field and guard against discrimination. Allowing advancement opportunities for all employees without making decisions based on personal bias is the best way forward.

Leaders can help women achieve greater power by sponsoring networking events, leadership programs and partner with external organisations – which empower their talent to leverage and expand their influence. By doing so, women become more skilled at leading in the future.

Only through the empowerment of women leaders can we realise workplaces that offer equitable opportunities for all employees; granting everyone a more representative workplace environment.

By Pinky Ghadiali, Founder and CEO Netwomen™️