Despite Canada’s reputation for progressive politics, many Canadian women feel that gender equality in the workplace has not yet been attained. A 2015 study revealed that while two-thirds of women claim their employers take steps to help them balance their work and home duties, only one-third feel they’re truly given the support to succeed in their careers.
Much of the focus on equality in the workplace focuses on big corporations, but even small businesses can promote progressive ideals by examining their employment practices and reaching out to talented women in the recruitment process. Find out how your small business can do its part to promote equality in the workplace.
Examine Your Employment Practices
As a progressive new company, you’ve probably avoided overtly discriminatory practices in the hiring process, such as recruiting men for leadership roles and women for administrative jobs. Your company probably hires the best candidates for all of its open positions without regard to their gender, race or other such identifiers, which is the way it should be.
However, there are subtle yet pernicious workplace dynamics that occasionally emerge, even in otherwise progressive businesses. These issues can work against true workplace equality.
Your business can promote women’s success by being proactive in creating a workplace environment that helps them thrive. For example, not just permitting but encouraging flexible work hours helps women, particularly those with young children, feel that they don’t have to choose between work and home duties.
Recruit Talented Women
Find talented female employees by engaging in proactive recruitment efforts that seek them out in places where they’re likely to gather. For example, if you have positions available for recent college graduates, contact some of the female student groups at the local university about offering a recruiting session with them on campus.
Another example: Suppose your business is in a traditionally male-dominated field, such as computers or construction. Plenty of networking groups exist within these fields to increase the number of women working in them. Get to know these groups, and coordinate some of your recruitment efforts with them.
Ally With Other Small Businesses That Promote Equality
There are bound to be other small businesses nearby that, like your company, prioritize workplace equality. By networking with these businesses and developing relationships with them, you can help ensure that no talented female workers in the local area fall through the cracks.
For example, suppose a woman with a dynamite resume and dazzling personality approaches your company for a job, but her skills and record of employment are concentrated in the social media marketing field, a position that you don’t have available at the moment. If you have relationships with several other progressive business owners, then a good chance exists that you can help the woman who approached your company to find an open position.