Understanding the Need for Work-Life Balance
One of the first things Leslie points out is the lack of C-Suite women in our industry and the reasons behind that gap and how we can break the stigmas. Flexible work arrangements, hybrid or remote options, and generous parental leave policies have become more common, making it easier for women, all around. But there’s still a lot of work to be done to make these options available, understood, and accepted. Leslie believes that companies can and should create an environment that supports work-life balance for all employees, regardless of gender. These policies not only benefit women, but also help create a more diverse and inclusive workplace culture.
Providing Sponsorship Opportunities
Another way companies can support women in leadership is by providing mentorship and sponsorship opportunities. Women need role models and advocates who can help guide them on their career paths and advocate for their success. Leslie is a huge believer in this model and knows that sponsorship and support from women that have pioneered the path before is absolutely critical. There are multiple organizations that support women and are doing all that they can to keep closing the gender gap: American Staffing Association, Women Business Collaborative, Tech Serve Alliance, and more. You can read Leslie’s post to see those she has partnered with on this topic here. When we can see that it is being accomplished, we begin to see it as a possibility.
Becoming Educated on the Mindsets that Can Hold Women Back
Lastly, be aware of the several key characteristics and mindsets that tend to hold many women back. These can include:
- Imposter syndrome – a feeling of self-doubt and inadequacy that many women experience, even when they are highly qualified and competent. It can cause women to hold back from taking on leadership roles or to downplay their accomplishments.
- Lack of confidence – women may be less likely than men to speak up in meetings, ask for a raise or promotion, or negotiate for what they want. This can be due to a lack of confidence in their abilities or fear of being seen as too aggressive or pushy.
- Perfectionism – it is not uncommon for women to feel pressure to be perfect in their work and in their personal lives, which can hold them back from taking risks or making mistakes that could lead to growth and learning.
- Lack of visibility – women may be less visible in their organizations than men, which can make it harder for them to be considered for leadership roles or to have their accomplishments recognized. We encourage you to listen to the story Leslie shares on this exact subject!
Companies can play a crucial role in supporting women in leadership roles and empowering them to succeed. It’s important for them to address these barriers above and create a more supportive and inclusive workplace culture where women can thrive. By working together, we can create a more equal and inclusive workplace for all.
You can view Leslie’s interview and full episode on the Staffing Stories Podcast here.