In today's highly competitive business environment, it's more important than ever to recruit and retain top talent. And with more and more companies realizing the need to ensure equal representation, recruiting and retaining women is a particular concern.
Many companies are working to hire women--but that's not enough. If you want the expertise and talent of the top women in your field, you need to make sure you're creating a good environment to attract and keep them.
Measure your organization against these best practices for recruiting and retaining top women:
1. Focus on advancement.
In a recent study, one of the top reasons that experienced female professionals cited for changing jobs was a lack of advancement and opportunity. Women today expect more from their career than any previous generation. Companies that establish formal career progression plans will have better luck at attracting and keeping female employees--and in turn they will be motivated and committed and loyal.
2. Reexamine outdated polices.
Every organization should revisit and reassess their polices and see if they meet everyone's needs, especially women. Do your policies support leadership advancement, professional development, work flexibility, and career progression? Well-crafted policies that put employees first will help you attract all top talent--women and men.
3. Equalize pay.
The sad news is that women are still making less than men; the wage gap remains a reality around the world. On average, women would need to work more than 80 additional days a year to catch up to what men are earning. Make sure pay equality is practiced within your organization, and support a policy of transparency.
4. Close the leadership gap.
Another study recently suggested a significant disconnect between women and leadership, with women making up only about 3 percent of leaders. Keep an eye out for women with leadership potential and work tirelessly to promote them, develop them and sponsor them.
5. Create a culture of inclusiveness and diversity.
Many women feel they are often dismissed or ignored in the workplace. When women feel like outsiders, when their talents are overlooked and their voices not heard, they will most likely leave. Building an inclusive workplace means creating the kind of culture that supports all employees for who they are and what they are capable of doing. It means creating an organizational environment that values diversity not just for the sake of appearances but for the competitive edge that comes with access to multiple perspectives.
6. Revaluate common biases.
Everyone has biases .Most of them are unconscious, even in the most well-intentioned people, but they still have a way of playing out in our everyday experiences and events. Working women especially have often faced challenges grounded in these biases, challenges that sometimes result in major roadblocks for advancement and development. The best way forward is to talk about it, even if the topic is difficult and makes people uncomfortable. Feedback and learning and growing in this area are imperative to keeping the best and most talented people of any sex.
At the end of the day, if you find great talent you should work hard to keep that talent regardless of race, gender or sex; to reassess what is working and what is not; and to fill the gaps of leadership where you can make a difference.