Having women in your workforce can strengthen your team, increase the access to top talent, and create an overall better work environment. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that women made up 46.8% of the total workforce in 2010 and were projected to maintain that level through 2018. With more than 70 million women over the age of 16 participating in the US workforce, you might think that it would be simple to recruit them to and then retain them in your company. However, you may need a reality check on women’s progress, as well as what they want and need from an employer. Many women are looking for specific opportunities, benefits, and workplace cultures in their next career move. Here are a few strategies you can use to recruit and retain top female talent to your team.
Let Them Be Heard
It’s no secret that women approach problems differently than men — but in this same way, women also make great leaders by bringing different ideas and methods to the table. Many women communicate in highly verbal ways, so giving them the ability to be heard can go a long way in attracting them to the job and then keeping them happy.
Create a workplace culture where everyone is comfortable with coming forward to share their ideas and thoughts about workplace issues and possible solutions.
Several industries have noticed the need for diversity in their workforce. Women are rising to the top of technology jobs because the industry noted the benefits of having females around. A few of the top reasons women do well in the science and technology sectors include empowerment to be creative in finding solutions and the open culture of idea generation. Giving women a culture to create, think, and be heard can keep many female workers on your payroll for years to come.
Consider Them for Trades
When you think of plumbers, electricians, and other trade workers, you probably think of men. However, over the last few years, more women are entering trades than ever before, and they’re thriving. Many of these industries are growing, but lack enough skilled workers to fill the need. Female plumbers have been one solution to the increased demand and lack of workers in the field.
Gender roles on the job are almost a thing of the past. Many women are looking at the same trade careers as men, including CDL truck driver, HVAC technician, and mechanic. So, before you start recruiting through traditional means, review your outreach and application processes. You might need to discuss how you find candidates. Consider hosting an open house or attending local training classes to find female staff. You can also target women in your advertisements by showing images of females working in your particular trade. If you currently have females on your payroll, use them in ads or other marketing materials to show how women can be successful in the business.
Make Your Benefits Package Female-Friendly
Did you know that hiring women can increase the growth of your business? It’s true, which means you need to consider why they’re not in your workforce now. Could it be your benefits package?
Most women who have children remain intimately close to their child-rearing and other family responsibilities. If you want a more diverse workforce, it might be time to look at your company’s policies and make a few changes. Review your maternity and family leave policies. Be as generous as you can be if you want female employees to return after maternity leave. You should also review your healthcare benefits for coverage of gynecological exams, prenatal care, and family planning.
Provide Professional Development Opportunities
It’s been proven in education that the sooner you expose girls to science and technology, the more likely they are to envision themselves in the field. It’s the same for women — show them the possibilities in your company early on so that they can see the opportunities ahead.
Female workers want to know that they have the same opportunities in your business as their male counterparts. Workplace mentorship programs offer many benefits and pair newer female staff with senior female leaders. You can set up the program for these pairs to work collaboratively on projects. You might also provide continuing education or leadership training that focuses on the unique needs of women executives.
Ensure Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance has been a phrase we’ve heard a lot over the past few decades. However, many companies started tossing around the idea of work-life balance without any programs or definitions of what this actually means. Because many women are balancing home life, kids, and other responsibilities, having flexibility in the workplace can sometimes be the difference between continuing to work fulltime or having to cut back on hours or even quit.
Look into flexible work schedules such as work at home programs or flexible start times. You might also want to consider on-site child care or events that encourage the family to stop by for lunch or holidays. Incorporating real work-life balance strategies into your workplace can attract and retain female workers.
Creating the Workforce You Want
You want a diverse workforce that leads your company to success, right? Figure out what’s holding women back in your company and then use these strategies to recruit and retain top female talent for your business.