How to create a better workplace experience for women

Workplace gender equality can only be achieved when people are able to access and enjoy the same rewards, resources and opportunities, regardless of gender. A workplace should not just be inclusive for women but also go above and beyond towards being sensitive to their needs. Brinda Dasgupta brings you suggestions from experts on how to create a better workplace experience for women.

1 Provide a Path to Leadership

Help women employees establish relationships with mentors and advocates. “A sponsorship programme can also be instrumental in connecting senior women who are willing to take on and become sponsors with high-performing, young female employees, to make sure that they’re getting the exposure, visibility, experience and opportunities that help build their career,” says Sonali De Sarker, director of human resources at NetApp India.

2 Work-Life Balance

Help women employees balance home and family life with the pressures of the workplace. “Employee benefits like work-from-home and part-time work options are just some benefits an organisation can provide towards driving better work-life balance,” says Sarker.

3 Attack Unconscious Biases

While many companies already have programmes in place to target unconscious biases, it is important to drive these with more urgency. “Ensure managers, leaders and those conducting interviews are taught to recognise unconscious biases and deal with them accordingly. This will build a greater connect with women employees,” says Atul Mohan, head of HR at BlueStone.
4 Make the Workplace Inclusive
More and more organisations today are realising the urgency of creating a comfortable working environment for women. “Lactation rooms for nursing mothers should be provided, as should be allowing employees to bring their kids to work on some days,” says Sarker.

5 Plug the Leaky Pipeline

Make the workplace conducive so that you don’t lose female talent in the midst of their careers. “Introduce programmes to bring back women who take career breaks due to maternity or family-related reasons. Senior leaders should also make sure to drive a culture of empathy and understanding so that such women feel comfortable and confident about coming back,” says Mohan.

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