Nowadays, advancing women’s empowerment also means achieving business goals. This International Women’s Day, get a better understanding of how women create value as employees, consumers, and community members. They play a vital role in your business’ success as well. Focusing your business’ core values on women’s empowerment might actually help you go a long way.
What Can Your Business do to Empower Women
More companies are committing to gender equality. But progress remains slow until businesses confront blind spots on diversity, particularly regarding women of color, and employee perceptions of the status quo. Women remain underrepresented at every level despite earning more college degrees than men for 30 years and counting. Many companies also overlook the realities of women of color, who face the most significant obstacles and receive the least support. Don’t be one of those companies. When you take a one-size-fits-all approach to advancing women, some women end up underserved and left behind. Find out the best strategic business approaches to women’s empowerment below.
1. Promote decent and empowering jobs for women
Allow your company to attract and retain not only loyal customers but also talented employees. Women can also provide a foundation for innovation, operational excellence, and stability of supply which are all crucial to business success. When you ensure that your employees are healthy, respected, and well-paid, you can expect less absenteeism, higher productivity, and better rapport between workers and management. This way, you can drive your business success in the long run.
2. Design products and services that address women’s unique needs
Help women improve their living standards and increase their mobility and potential. Consider how your products, services, and technologies can offer both benefits and risks to women. Women are powerful and yet are overlooked consumers who have specific needs. When you exert an extra effort to better understand their needs, they will surely appreciate your products and services more, leading to more sales. So make sure that your company caters to those specific needs and expect this a successful marketing in the long run.
3. Work with local businesses to integrate women’s empowerment
If you are a company based in developing countries that serve as suppliers, contractors, and distributors for global or domestic markets, you should promote responsible employment practices like gender diversity, equal pay for equal work safe and healthy workplaces free of harassment and discrimination, and opportunities for women to advance. In turn, global businesses will work their suppliers to build capacity at the local level and engage local communities.
The Bottom Line
Once you are able to identify women’s empowerment as a priority and integrate them into core business activities, build strategic partnerships with donors and other stakeholders. Companies need a more comprehensive plan for supporting and advancing women. Make a compelling case for gender diversity, invest in more employee training, ensure that hiring and promotions are fair, give your employees the flexibility to fit work into their lives, and focus on accountability and results.