Women make great leaders. They also make great team members. And women-led organizations are particularly adept at recognizing this and creating great workplaces where all people thrive. It’s this emphasis on a great workplace for ALL that ensures all women in the workplace are encouraged and empowered to be their best and to achieve their full potential. And when women succeed, everyone benefits from the unique perspective female leaders bring to the organization.
Unfortunately, Great Place to Work’s market research conducted in July of 2022 revealed the typical workplace is not meeting the needs of women in terms of fairness and an overall healthy workplace culture. This despite the solid push in mainstream culture for more flexible and equitable workplaces that bring people together for a common cause. There seems to be a real disconnect between what we recognize as necessary and what is actually being done. The Best Workplaces™ see this gap and recognize that by improving conditions for women in the workplace they are indeed improving the workplace culture for all – and ultimately that is the goal since we are all in this together.
Organizations that are managed by women are particularly adept at bridging this gap, and they are also great workplaces for women to work in general. It stands to reason that the two are interconnected because for women to rise to the upper ranks the conditions at all levels of an organization, and in all the crooks and crannies, must support women in the workplace. In identifying the Best Workplaces™ Managed by Women and For Women it’s clear that equality is central to their culture and this desire to create an organization were everyone can thrive is key to driving a great culture for all.
Ensuring that everyone can thrive involves more than just creating a fair workplace – although that is a primary, and necessary condition. It also means paying attention to work-life balance and empowering people to do great work. These conditions combine to ensure people feel seen, supported and inspired. Here’s what you can do to empower women in the workplace to lead others, to be their best and to inspire others to be their best too.
Pay More Attention to Fairness
Fairness is one of the key ways people feel seen for their unique value. It allows people to feel confident that they can be themselves, and that they will be appreciated for who they are and what they do. Organizations that address fairness are at an advantage to not only retain their female workers but to recruit the best and brightest women as well. Women leaders in particular, work hard to support everyone because they understand that fair treatment in terms of pay and growth opportunities leads to better workplace for all.
What do employees say about fairness at the Best Workplaces on these lists?
People here are treated fairly regardless of their age, race or ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.
Best Workplaces Managed by Women: 96% Agree
Best Workplaces For Women: 95% Agree
I am treated as a full member here regardless of my position.
Best Workplaces Managed by Women: 92% Agree
Best Workplaces For Women: 91% Agree
- Ensure Equity - Use intentional strategies that create organizational accountability and measurable success in areas like equitable hiring, pay, promotions, and allocation of development and coaching resources.
- Build Belonging – build systems to ensure that different people feel that they fully belong in the organization.
- Value Uniqueness – seek to understand what makes individuals unique and find ways to leverage unique experience/talents for the betterment of the business.
- Leadership Accountability – develop intentional systems to hire, develop, and hold accountable a range of great leaders giving all employees an opportunity to envision themselves in a leadership role.
Support All Types of Work and People
In an effort to create a fair and equitable workplace for women, and indeed all employees, it’s important that modern organizations support their people according to individual need. Whether that is offering flexible work arrangements, creating a hybrid workplace, or providing creative, customizable benefits, supporting people means being there for them at the office and when they work remotely, and paying attention to what they need to thrive given their particular circumstances. It entails meeting people where they are at and figuring out what will work for each individual and because women have traditionally felt less supported in the workplace, women leaders are in a uniquely insightful position to provide supportive options for all.
What do employees say about feeling supported at the Best Workplaces on these lists?
I am able to take time off from work when I think it's necessary.
Best Workplaces Managed by Women: 93%
Best Workplaces For Women: 92%
My manager shows a sincere interest in me as a person, not just an employee.
Best Workplaces Managed by Women: 93%
Best Workplaces For Women: 91%
- Provide Accessible Options – ensure all employees have access to work-life benefits to suit their needs and that all employees have equal access to this support
- Offer Variety – offer a variety of work-life benefits and programs that provide support for employees in times of need. Regularly ask people what they need and encourage candid conversations to uncover issues they may be reluctant to seek solutions for.
- Adopt Supportive Values – make being supportive a fundamental condition of the organization by integrating supportive, work-life benefits as part of the organization’s culture and value structure.
- Leadership Accountability – confirm leaders understand that being supportive is part of their core deliverables, and provide training to support them in being the best leaders they can be.
Encourage Inspiration and Pride at Work
A significant part of thriving at work is feeling proud of what one does. It’s why appreciation is so important and it also speaks to feeling empowered through purpose. It’s also intertwined with fairness and equity because those are fundamental conditions that help people feel proud of the place they work. Women are well poised to promote pride and inspiration with their collaborative communication style and inclusive approach in general. This helps women leaders to build connections with strategy and to encourage belief in the products or services being offered. And when everyone feels well connected, they pull together, they support each other and they empower one another.
What do employees say about feeling inspired at the Best Workplaces on these lists?
When I look at what we accomplish, I feel a sense of pride.
Best Workplaces Managed by Women: 91%
Best Workplaces For Women: 89%
My manager involves people in decisions that affect their jobs or work environment.
Best Workplaces Managed by Women: 91%
Best Workplaces For Women: 90%
- Define a Purpose – articulate vision and mission in a way that unites and excites people and then include employees in the explicit shaping and living of the purpose.
- Create a People-First Culture – establish a clear and coherent set of values and programs that integrate your culture around people and that emphasize the importance of people to the culture.
- Communicate Authentically – use a style that is matter-of-fact, friendly and conveys a sense of caring. Pay attention to employee-manager communications to ensure they are open and warm.
- Inclusive Communication – include people always and endeavor to communicate key messages with employees at the same time. Seek feedback from all and be aware of biases in communication that exclude some people from participating fully in the conversation.
Fair, supportive and inspiring workplaces are great places for women to work. They are also great places for everyone to work! By improving conditions for women in the workplace the culture is enhanced for all. It also means more opportunities for women to rise to the top and more women in leadership positions goes hand-in-hand with more equality, more support and more inclusivity. That’s a winning combination for women in the workplace, for all of their colleagues, and ultimately for organizations and communities everywhere.
If you want to get clear insight on how women are experiencing your workplace culture, we are here to help. Reach out to us about how our survey and culture management platform can help you measure your team’s effectiveness.