Increasing diversity in the workplace has the potential to benefit both your business and your employees. If one of your diversity goals is to recruit top female business leaders, it pays to take a look at your operations and ask how you can make the company more appealing to professional women.
Flexible work schedules are one of the most productive policies you can adopt to attract and retain female leaders. Women tend to be the primary caregivers in families, and you can make it easier for your female employees to balance their personal and professional responsibilities by occasionally letting them flex their daily schedules or work from home.
As of 2017, women in Canada still earned less than their male counterparts in every province. You can do your part to close that pay gap – and forestall possible criticism – by creating an objective and transparent salary and promotion schedule. Your female employees don’t need to wonder if they’re being paid fairly if the rules are made public in advance.
Harassment is still a problem for many professional women. It’s a problem for you, too, since a hostile work environment drives talented women away and may leave your company vulnerable to legal action. This is why so many Canadian employers have adopted a zero-tolerance policy toward interpersonal harassment at work. Encourage your staff members to discuss discrimination openly to raise awareness; this can help everyone understand what’s acceptable and what isn’t. This supportive, caring atmosphere helps all of your employees feel safe.
Once you establish a culture and business practices that address common issues for women in the workplace, get the word out. Update your website and recruiting materials to explain your policies. When you attend college job fairs, plan outreach sessions specifically to help young women; you might try topics such as handling discrimination at work, identifying family-friendly companies, and negotiating a salary. If you’re searching for established leaders, network with women’s organizations such as the Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women, Canadian Women in Technology, or the Women’s Infrastructure Network.
Attracting qualified female workers to high-level positions takes special effort. The work you do to recruit and retain such women is more than justified by the edge a diverse team gives you in your industry.