With International Women’s Day approaching, are you standing out as an employer of choice? Closing the gender gap can start with personal leadership and reading the signs of unconscious bias.

While women in today’s workforce are facing less challenges than past generations, the legacy of male-dominated workplace culture and polices still makes it difficult for them to get ahead.

A recent University of Sydney study revealed what most women value in the workplace are more practical policies and opportunities, including:
 
  • more flexibility
  • training and development opportunities
  • job security
  • respect

Here’s what you can do to champion the women in your workplace:

1. Make equal pay a priority: According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, men earn 21.3% more than women on average. While the gap is declining, employers can do more to close it.

You should regularly review your employee’s wages. Are men and women earning equal pay for equal work? If not, consider ways your business can close the gap.

2. Support career progression: A challenge for all workplaces, at all levels, is how to create progress opportunities for all staff – men and women.

This could mean setting quotas for management positions in your business, or seeking to best utilise the skills in your existing workforce and fill the gaps.

3. Address unconscious bias: One of the most difficult challenges for companies is to address a workplace culture that has been shaped by unconscious bias. It may be seen that a female employee cannot perform heavy machinery because they’re not ‘strong enough’ – this is unconscious bias. 

By simply being aware of these assumptions, you can make decisions against the bias and set an example for your employees to follow.

4. Consider how to make your workplace flexible: You could offer all employees ‘school hours’ in order to promote flexibility and inclusion. This might also attract more high-quality staff who may otherwise have not applied for a 9 to 5 role.

If suitable you could also allow employees to work from home in certain situations.

International Women’s Day Lunch

Join NSW Business Chamber to celebrate International Women's Day with the Governor Designate of NSW, The Hon. Justice Margaret Beazley AO.

When: Tuesday 5 March, midday to 2pm
Where: Dolton House Hyde Park, Sydney

You can find out more and purchase tickets here.