MY TAKE ON EMPOWERING WOMEN AT WORK
The prevalence of women in the workforce is a global issue that is gaining attention throughout the African region and in Ghana. Attracting and retaining top talent is paramount and firms are strategically investing resources to develop innovative approaches to empower the next generation of female employees into prominent roles.
In many countries, women make up nearly half the workforce, but many still face limited career opportunities. With this in mind, more organizations must place importance on gender diversity in the workplace due to its proven record of improving company performance and success.
The participation of women in the workplace has continued to grow over the past 20 to 30 years and the percent of working-age women in the workforce compared with men has balloon. While there are signs of improvement, many working women still face struggles due to conservative workplaces with cultural barriers that can impede advancement.
These cultural norms often affect women employees who leave their jobs after getting married or having children, thus making re-entry into the workforce even more challenging, especially when raising children. Such women returning to the workforce tend to be limited to part-time employment agreements that diminish competitiveness and career advancement.
In terms of senior positions, the gender gap is greater. Female CEOs in the country is nothing to boast about. In government the picture is similar, and we see fewer female civil servants, legislators and senior officials.
Finding practical ways to empower women in the workplace should be a major initiative at Ghana National Union of Technical Students as we strive to develop the female leaders of tomorrow and unlock their full potential.
I have explored the topic of gender diversity in detail and have consulted many industry professionals, with an aim of providing organizations with a professional approach to empower women in their careers.
To overcome structural barriers and a workplace that holds women back, organizations need to encourage gender diversity to maximize levels of employee satisfaction. One key method is to identify the motivational factors that drive employees in the early stages of the recruitment process. Early identification can lead to lower employee turnover and increased satisfaction.
Another key area is to harness the strengths of diverse teams within companies and to consider flexible working conditions for men and women. By encouraging reasonable leave and allowing flexibility, men and women will see the value of family by sharing the pressures of family commitment.
The use of mentoring programs can also help women in their career development. Having a quality role model will also encourage women to demonstrate leadership and lead high-visibility projects, which all help build success, confidence and high self-esteem.
Finally, gender diversity in organizations begins at the top and every organization should set policy and guidelines to ensure that the opinions and needs of all employees are well represented.
In the end, gender inequality still exists in many countries, including Ghana, and women in the workplace continue to face issues that limit their career opportunities and advancement. As gender diversity has proven to improve overall team performance and success, it is even more imperative for firms to empower women in the workplace by putting in place concrete plans and actions to achieve positive change.
Sandra Agoli Iddrisu
Nothing can stop you from achieving your desired goals in life; all you need to do is to summon courage and invest your time and strength in it. Act accordingly towards your success, do not rest untill the positive result is achieved. Prince David Orchill #NSAGh18
A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
- Ezekiel 36:26-27