Devin FosterJuly 14, 2021
Topics: Employee Experience

Gender Equality: How to Advocate for Women in the Workplace [Video]

Supporting women in the workplace is a big piece of the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) puzzle. But how can organizations make a genuine commitment to promoting gender equality and equity? This recap covers the July 8 episode of Talent Experience Live with Gemma Lloyd, CEO and co-founder of WORK180, who shared insights and success stories about how to make it happen.

These stats from Forum's Global Gender Gap Report 2021 may surprise you:

  • The U.S. ranked 30th out of 156 countries in gender equality
  • The U.S. won’t close the gender gap for another 65 years
  • It will take 135.6 years to close the worldwide gender gap

To turn these numbers around, employers need to expand the focus beyond simply increasing their number of female employees, according to Lloyd. What matters most is the experience women have after they get in the door. Plus, research shows that when diverse teams include women, they see higher productivity, creativity, and innovation.

Watch the full episode below for Gemma's take on better supporting women at work, or read on for highlights!

Matching Women with Supportive Employers

WORK180 is a global technology platform that mentors employers on ways to continuously improve benefits for and treatment of women. Through the WORK180 job board, women can find career opportunities with employers that are known for providing policies that support women and cultures that value diversity, inclusion, and flexibility.

“I wanted to create a place where women go and find employers that genuinely wanted them there; that were committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Lloyd said. “And more importantly, weren’t just trying to attract more women in, but are serious about driving change and an inclusive place to work.”

Examples of organizations that are endorsed for supporting women include major players like Microsoft, Atlassian, and JP Morgan.

RELATED: Job Empowerment & Growth: Ways to Support Women at Work

Global knowledge sharing leads to positive change.

Lloyd has noticed that some geographic regions are stronger than others when it comes to supporting female employees. Australian employers, for example, tend to excel at domestic violence awareness, she said. They provide benefits and other resources to help female employees affected by domestic violence.

“Every time we learn about a benefit or initiative employers are doing in one region, we share that with the rest of the world," Lloyd said.

Want to Attract and Retain Female Employees? Be Transparent.

Encouraging transparency is a critical initiative for HR leaders at companies aiming to improve their treatment of women in the workplace, Lloyd pointed out. Even if there’s a lot of room for improvement, honest communication regarding the current state of gender equality and intentions for change can make all the difference.

And employers don't need to be perfect along the way, according to Lloyd.

"What it's about is being really transparent. It’s about being authentic, and it’s about being honest in terms of where you’re at in the journey." she said. "And if you can do that, and you can showcase those things that employers tend to want to keep behind the curtain ... if you can actually bring those to the forefront, it builds trust with the audience.”

BLOG: Total Transparency: Transforming Your Candidate Experience in a Tight Labor Market

Employer Success Story: BHP

Lloyd shared the example of BHP, an Australia-based global mining company endorsed by WORK180.

“Within the first 18 months of partnering with us, they increased the number of women applying to their jobs from 10% of their total applications to 45% of applications,” she said. Strong support from the BHP executive team — plus authentic communication about efforts — drove their success.

“They openly came out and said, ‘we’re not perfect, but we are committed on this journey, and these are all the steps that we’re taking.’ And every time that they improved something internally, they spoke about it," Lloyd said.

See Where You Stand on the Gender Equity Index

With the recently released WORK180 Gender Equity Index, employers can track, measure, and demonstrate progress in their efforts to improve not only gender equity, but equality for all underrepresented groups. Lloyd pointed out that the index addresses parental leave and work flexibility for men as well.

“It’s not just about women," Lloyd said. "It’s about all underrepresented segments."

READ MORE: Diversity Isn't a Problem to Solve. It's an Initiative to Support.

Hear Executives Talk Transparency at the EDGE Event

Transparency is critical to advancing real change. For that reason, it’s the focus of WORK180’s virtual event, Executives Driving Gender Equity (EDGE), scheduled for July 27.

“We’ve got a great lineup of executives and speakers for the event who are really going to be sharing how that transparency piece — while some might find it a bit scary — has actually driven great results in terms of their DE&I,” Lloyd said.

Speakers will include Tremayne Bess, VP of HR at Gap Inc., Deirdre Tully, Global Head of TA & Executive Recruiting at GE Corporate, and Brielle Valle, Owner of BV Consulting. Anyone interested in the event is encouraged to sign up here!

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