Breaking down Barriers Women hold only about 28% of senior-level, executive and managerial positions in the United States.
The intention to remedy this situation exists but not enough effort has been made so far. Many organizations would like to give more women opportunities but have been unsuccessful. More steps should be taken to fully break down the barriers that prevent more women from taking leadership roles in organizations. These steps should include the following. Close the Gender Pay Gap Pay inequality is one of the biggest obstacles for women in the workplace. More women have college or master’s degrees but receive less than men with the same educational background. Many factors such as work experience, are used to explain this gender pay gap. But when the qualifications of male and female job aspirants are equal, there should be no excuse for differences in pay.
The laws are vague where gender pay gaps are concerned. Individuals, men included, should lobby their representatives to create laws that:
- Impose more substantial penalties on companies that are guilty of pay inequality.
- Prevent employers from penalizing their employees who discuss their wages with others.
- Require companies to disclose wage data. What can be done in the meantime while we wait for laws that will close the gender pay gap? Employers should take the initiative and offer salaries that correspond to a person’s qualifications. Companies want to hire the most qualified person for a leadership role. They shouldn’t hold back on wages when the best person for the job is a woman.
Women should ask for more pay when offered a job. A little research will help estimate what a fair wage should be for a job in a specific geographical area. Women should not settle for salaries offered to them initially and subsequently.
An employer’s best offer is usually not their last. Provide Better Access to Childcare Services Talented women will resign from their jobs to care for their newborn children. Employers who lose talent will suffer in the long run. Think of the costs alone of training replacements. Companies can team up with childcare services to assist their female employees. Big organizations, on the other hand, can consider building their childcare centers.
Address Discrimination Many people have a bias, sometimes indirect, against female leaders. This creates an unhealthy environment for talented women who may eventually seek opportunities elsewhere. Employers should conduct training that will change their employees’ negative perceptions of women leaders. They need to be reminded that women can be good bosses too.
With these steps, women will find it more beneficial to take on leadership roles. In time, the barriers they face now will be things of the past!