While our country advances and the GDP of the country is on a steady rise ever since 1991, the participation of women in the workforce has been seeing a declining trend. From the year 2004- 2005 where it was 42.7 percent, it has fallen to a mere 23.3 percent in 2017 to 2018. According to the latest World Bank report, it has fallen to 20.3 percent in the year 2019.
This just goes on to show that special efforts must be made to improve the position of women in the workforce. Women employees should be encouraged to progress and to excel in the so-called man’s world.
One of the most important functions of any organisation is to treat all its employees equally and take care of growth opportunities for all the people working there. Here are a few tips that you can keep in mind to promote the growth of women employees in your organisation:
The organisational setup and the policies are made keeping a predominantly male workforce in mind. Few changes need to be made to accommodate the women employees as well. This can go a long way in providing them the requisite impetus for further growth.
For instance, Zomato India recently announced upto 10 leaves to the women and transgender employees on account of “Menstural Leave”.
Other changes such as parity in incentives and pay, equal opportunity for promotion et al also needs to be ensured as the same are enshrined by way of a fundamental right in the Constitution of India itself. This would ensure that they can break the glass ceiling that is imposed on the growth of the women employees in various organisations.
Most women employees have additional responsibilities at home and a bigger share of the household chores as compared to her male counterparts. Therefore, options like Work-from-home, flexible working hours and target based working.
As an extension to the previous point, the responsibility of childcare also falls predominantly on the women. The organisation can provide a creche or childcare facility in the office itself. This can really help women employees with young children to effectively manage their work with the responsibility of their child, especially in the metropolitan cities where most families have a nuclear family set up and do not have the extra hand of help with the childcare from their relatives.
More and more women are working late nights and even opting for graveyard shifts. In such a case, the organisation should be proactive in placing a few checks to ensure that their women employees are able to safely reach their homes. A lot of organisations offer special cabs for pick up and drop of their employees, surveillance within the office and its compound etc, among other things.
Not just this, the organisation should also have an effective system to keep a check against the sexual harassment at workplace. After the #Metoo movement, several cases of sexual harassment at workplace came to light in highly reputed organisations as well.
Therefore, keeping up with the compliances under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013 is a must. In addition to this, the HR should have an open door policy for any woman who wishes to complain of any act of such nature and utmost importance should be given to making a safe environment for her to talk about her experiences, without having to worry about any sort of backlash.
More and more women are stepping out from the comforts of their home and venturing out to have a career of their own. It is pivotal that apart from any other thing mentioned above, all employees, men or women, should be treated with respect and dignity. It is important to make the women employees feel that they are an equal to their male counterpart and that their contribution is equally paramount to the organisation. This is not only important for the organisation but for the country at large. As it was rightly pointed out by Michelle Obama,
“No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens.”