For the past month, we’ve been celebrating all things ‘women in marketing’ and we’re rounding our celebration off by laying out a key action plan for women in the digital workforce. We’re exploring some of the key approaches and values that are essential for creating a workforce in which women can thrive.
Women should be encouraged not only into workplaces but also to progress through their workforce and they must be supported by the right culture to do so. The gender gap of women in leadership positions within organisations is a global issue, with less than 29% of top roles around the world occupied by women.
The scale of this disparity raises the issue of workplace culture, and the question of whether companies are doing enough to create an environment which enables women to achieve more.
At the core of a culture that works for women – and for everyone – fairness, championing diversity and acknowledging success are key values. From representing women in senior leadership teams to ensuring equality in progression opportunities, embodying these qualities will shape a workplace culture that furthers employees.
One of the most encompassing values for enabling women to progress within a workplace is psychological safety, an idea coined by Amy Edmondson, a behavioural psychologist. The key idea of psychological safety is that within any team, there is a safe space for taking interpersonal risks — and this can be applied in numerous ways.
With psychological safety at work, we can create accepting, mindful spaces where expressing ideas is fully supported, aiding vulnerability and nurturing creativity. Women have been identified as the most likely to experience feelings associated with imposter syndrome, such as an internal belief or inadequacy, overworking and finding it difficult to accept praise.
So, psychological safety becomes one of the most vital elements of a workplace that works for women, as a concept which can help to combat and safeguard employees from experiencing this. By creating a space which is accepting and supportive, women can take these creative risks and find ways to learn from them.
Ensuring that everyone in your team feels like they can contribute to shaping the workplace is key, regardless of gender or position. By creating a space that welcomes new ideas, you can enable your employees to work to their potential in the conditions that they feel are most productive.
Ensure that your workplace has the right provisions in place to support self-expression, as showing your employees that their voices are sought after and valued is a necessity. The idea of psychological safety manifests here too, as by listening to your employees thoughts you can support them in how comfortable they feel expressing themselves, creating a safe environment.
The push for equality is ongoing, and the workplace is a key part of many women’s lives.By ensuring that it serves them by providing opportunities as well as support, women are encouraged to unleash their potential at work. It’s also a means of inspiring more women to enter the workforce, working towards closing the gender gap. While these ideas can be applied regardless of gender, they are especially important for women, building their presence and shaping business culture.