Every business owner wants to find ways to grow and improve their company. While the most obvious way is to look at improving sales opportunities, some paths lie within your organization as well. The way you recruit, hire, and retain women can have a tremendous impact on your company's success. The more you do to foster and promote gender equality, the better your ability to grow both your culture and your bottom line.
Attract a Stronger Workforce
Limiting your ability to attract, nurture, and promote female talent is ignoring half of the potential workforce! Benefits such as paid maternity leave, child care, and nursing stations can help your company attract and retain the most qualified women, by helping them know that you care about their specific needs.
More than this, though, you should recruit women for the same kinds of roles that you do for men, with an eye toward people who can become leaders in your organization. Part of the equation is creating a culture where women can thrive.
Improve Your Retention of Women
Recruiting is only half of your battle. According to McKinsey, women account for only about 16% of executive teams in the United States. When women see a company without female leaders, it may be hard for them to think of themselves as part of your future. This creates a self-imposed barrier for your ability to recruit.
Tokenism is not the answer. All of your employees will see through efforts to promote women just to have them in leadership roles. Instead, develop mentorship opportunities that help the women you hire grow within your company.
Train your team to be inclusive -- not to give special treatment, but to avoid discriminating against women in the workplace. No one wants to work in an environment where people are treated differently based on their gender. Equal opportunities within the company help in increasing the morale and lift everyone to a better performance.
Growth for Your Company
Gender equality does more than help people feel better. Hiring the best people helps you grow. Instead of ignoring or turning away talent, you broaden your pool and lift your potential. By building a more inclusive environment, you also get a wider set of perspectives. Finally, a gender-diverse company gives you more partnership opportunities. More and more organizations want to work with gender-diverse and women-owned companies when they seek strategic partnerships. Improving gender equality in your company gives you access to business relationships that a less diverse organization cannot reach.
When companies do not develop equality in their workplaces, they miss out on intelligent, qualified talent. Developing women's opportunities and helping them meet their potential is not only the right thing to do for the world, but for your company as well. Gender equality in your company unlocks not only women's growth potential but yours as well.