7 Ways You Can Support Women in the Workplace

By: Leslie Bailey

Like it or not, The Great Resignation continues and not even your c-suite is safe.

Nearly 70% of company executives say they are “seriously considering quitting for a job that better supports their well-being,” according to a recent report from Deloitte and market research firm Workplace Intelligence.

Several months ago, another survey from Deloitte showed that a large majority of women plan to leave the workforce in the next two years. The top reasons: burnout, insufficient pay, and lack of advancement opportunities.

As the founder of two companies created primarily for those who identify as female—one being a new coworking space for women— I hear and see first-hand, their joys and aspirations as well as their concerns and challenges. I’ve seen the delight a beautiful light-filled space can bring and tears of frustration when they’ve been set up to fail.

It’s hard to sum up in one article what can be done to support women but “trying” is no longer an option. Your workforce is on the line. Here are seven steps you can start taking, today.

Give women equal pay.

Sounds obvious in 2022, right? Still, according to the United State Census Bureau report, in 2019 the average wage gap in Indiana was $12,460 — even for women in leadership. This is even greater for women of color. Equity and transparency in compensation is a no-brainer talent retainer.

Leave an equal number of seats at the table.

“A seat” has never been enough. Look around your office — the conference room, the water cooler (is that still a thing?), are women present? What about women of color? If you’re not seeing either it’s time to seek a DEI expert immediately.

Provide flexibilty in time and location.

Equity in the workplace requires equity in caregiving. Caregiving - whether for children, parents, or other family members - falls disproportionately on women. Flexible schedules as well as remote and hybrid work opportunities can go a long way for employees who are stretched thinner than ever.

Offer a health and wellness spending account.

As Indiana continues to rank in the states with the highest levels of obesity, all Hoosiers could benefit from employers offering a health and wellness spending account. While wellness looks different for everyone, working women are often looking for ways to lower stress levels, maintain a fitness regimen and find solutions for healthy eating and living.

Supply free menstrual products.

The kombucha on tap is cool but you know what would really make people who menstruate happy? Free tampons. Menstrual hygiene products are necessities, not luxuries, and should be treated as such. At Maven Space, we offer free 100% organic, sustainable pads and tampons from Aunt Flo. Not only does this save women from leaving work to go to the store or return home to get supplies, it saves the company lost employee hours.

Sponsor an employee resource group (ERG).

According to Forbes, “studies show environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance attracts prospective employees and improves existing employee satisfaction, affirming the notion that fulfilled employees work harder, stay longer and seek to produce better results for the organization.” One way to do that is by sponsoring an employee resource group (ERG) for women. Salesforce’s Women’s Network is a great example.

Learn about gender-inclusive language.

While this article was written using the word “women” because research surrounding pay equity, caregiving, healthcare, and subsequent data is collected as such, it’s important to note the use of gender-inclusive language in the workplace. Using a person’s preferred pronouns is a simple way you can support all employees.

Leslie Bailey is the co-founder and CEO of Indy Maven, a media platform for women in Central Indiana, and Maven Space, a coworking space and social club for women. In 2022 she was listed in the first class of the Forbes Next 1000.

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