Celebrating Women on the 8th of March every year is great, but how about starting a dialogue around what women actually want, and need, in the workplace. From a judgement-free environment to an unbiased interview process, Parul Bahl tells us a few things women indeed want and that could make the workplaces better for them.
With the world moving to a hybrid model, flexihours have become a norm. It’s time we measure performance on efficiency and quality of output rather than the number of hours spent in the office.
International Women’s day – 8th March, a day which is celebrated with so much enthusiasm and gusto around the world. From women-centric webinars to office parties to gifts and dedications on LinkedIn and Facebook, no stone is left unturned in making women feel special, but is this enough in making women feel included and equal?
Has anyone ever thought about or asked women what they really want? As food for thought, I present a few simple things that we as women want at the workplace –
Non-Biased Interviews- The change begins at the first step of the process. Women want to be hired basis their capability and experience and not just because organizations want to meet their diversity target. On the flip side, most interviewers look at a woman candidate’s application and more often than not the first thought that crosses their mind is, what about when she gets married, late nights and weekends are out of the question for a woman with small children. Thus, they end up hiring a male candidate for demanding positions thus bringing bias in the very start.
Stop Judging Women- A woman with children or an ailing family member may come in late or leave early. However, as long as it does not impact the effort that she is putting in or the output being produced, are unsolicited comments on how early she is leaving really required? I feel not. With the world moving to a hybrid model, flexi-hours have become a norm. It’s time we measure performance on efficiency and quality of output rather than the number of hours spent in the office.
A Seat at the Table- By seat at table I in no way mean, that women should be promoted to senior leadership positions basis gender. However, if treated with trust to handle challenging assignments and given a fair chance to compete, more and more women will be able to make it to the top. The number of women who have decision making authority at the top level in organizations has gone up in the last few years, but we still have a long way to go in terms of having an equal number of seats at the table.
Normalize Working After Breaks- A gap in the resume is the first anomaly to get noticed that can automatically send the resume to the shredder. There are various reasons why a woman may choose to take a break in her careerspouse moving to another location, the birth of a child or ailing family members to say the least. Taking a break might slow their careers down but it should not mean that their careers have to come to a complete standstill. It is imperative that organizations accept them back with an open mind and provide whatever help possible in reskilling them to get them back in the race.
“Taking a break might slow their careers down but it should not mean that their careers have to come to a complete standstill. It is imperative that organizations accept them back with an open mind and provide whatever help possible in reskilling them to get them back in the race.”
While Facebook, WhatsApp and LinkedIn posts are without a doubt inspiring and a great way to pay a tribute to the amazing women around us. However, it is time that we as the HR Fraternity, as managers as leaders, start a conversation around what is actually required to provide that level playing field to all. Small acts of empathizing with women go a long way in making them feel empowered and engaged in the workplace.