Last month we sent out a list of 12 ways to celebrate Black History Month with your workforce. Now that it’s Women’s History Month, we’ve revised the list for you.
In addition to the list below, I also suggest attending a webinar I’m doing with an employment law attorney on April 1 at 9 am Pacific. We’ll be talking about the compliance and culture related to flexible work schedules. Women and People of Color in particular will need flexibility as we start to open back up again.
Definitely register to join us!
And now, here are 11 ways your workforce can celebrate Women’s History Month, in no particular order:
- Watch LinkedIn Learning’s “Women in Leadership” learning path, on topics such as leadership strategies, building confidence, harassment prevention, etc. This is a great resource for your workforce to use to empower women and make them feel included.
- Read a book on a woman that has helped shape history. One thing your organization can do is host a book club to discuss what everyone has learned from the book they read. Here are some websites that have provided wonderful lists of books to check out:
- Host an inspiring women’s film movie night. This list has a great selection of feminist movies to help empower the women in your workforce and break gender roles. You can host a Zoom meeting for everyone to hop on and utilize the screen sharing feature. Another possibility is to invite employees to watch a specific movie outside of work and then pick a time for you all to discuss over lunch.
- Borrow an action from the website, CEOAction.com. This website is a great resource for organizations to discover what others are doing to create more inclusive workplaces. Scroll through the long list of actions submitted by CEOs to get inspired by their tangible actions.
- Rethink your “Water Cooler gossip.” When chatting with coworkers about the latest “tea” on your fellow female coworkers, take a moment to think about the effects your words say in making an exclusive workplace. Would the gossip be the same if it was about a man? How does it portray women in the office?
- Donate to a charity for women/girls. There are many nonprofits that need our ongoing support every month, not just this month. Donating to these organizations is a great way to help initiate societal change and make a difference. Entrepreneur.com provides a list of great women nonprofits to check out.
- Start every meeting off with an educational tidbit. Remind your employees of Women’s History Month by mentioning a relevant statistic/fact before every meeting begins. This is a great way to bring awareness to your workforce by giving the employees the “why” behind this important month. For example, your workforce might be interested to know that at the start of 2020, women held only 38% of entry-level management jobs while men held 62%. Or that approximately 1 in 5 C-Suite leaders are women.
- Conduct an equity audit. Audit your hiring rates, compensation, and promotions – they should be comparable across various groups. Take a look at your organization’s leadership to determine if it’s homogeneous or full of diversity. Audit your policies and practices with an eye toward disparate impact and inequity. An audit will be eye opening, and it will also provide a path for gender equality in your organization. I found a great list of equity audit templates to get you started.
- Provide your workforce with allyship/upstander training. You probably have a workforce full of people who want to speak up when they witness something exclusive happen, like a microaggression or insensitive joke, but don’t know how. Speaking up in those situations is not a natural talent we’re all born with, and even if it was, your workforce is wondering how their manager or employer would support them if they took the leap to allyship. Providing training sends that message of support of allyship, and the right training can deliver tools for doing it well. Our interactive training discusses incivility and microaggressions, addresses getting over the fear of speaking up, and provides a wealth of real-world tools one could use in the moment to protect themselves or a peer from negativity.
- Conduct an employee survey that measures perceptions of discrimination, harassment, and inequity. Many organizations are already doing employee engagement surveys – important if you want to measure the level of employee engagement. However, discovering perceptions of inequity or discrimination, trust in leadership’s commitment to equity, or whether some races are more or less engaged than others, requires different measurement tools. CAUTION: Don’t ask these questions unless you’re prepared to address the issues you’ll discover by asking them. That’s why we tailor our surveys for all our clients; because the workforce and the leaders have to be ready to swiftly respond to the survey results.
- Use your company’s talents to influence gender equality. No matter what your organization’s product or service is, consider how it might positively influence your community. For example, many industries, such as insurance and IT, lack diversity and that makes it difficult for companies in this space to hire from a diverse talent pool. Your organization can make an impact by providing employees with flexible work schedules, hiring female interns from under-represented groups at the local college or university, or offering generous paternal leave policies. Here are some businesses that are helping support women, to get you inspired.
We’ll see you at the webinar on April 1! Register here.