Celebrating Women in the Workforce

March 8, 2016 was International Women’s Day.  The theme for this year was #PledgeForParity.  Across the globe, women continue to contribute to social, economic, cultural and political achievement, however it is estimated that parity will not be reached until 2133.    We have seen some great changes in the workforce when it comes to the female persuasion, as women taken on all sorts of roles across all industries.  We wanted to celebrate women in the workforce by sharing some tips and stats about how women are contributing to the workforce.

A recent report from TD and the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management illustrates 10 lessons for women in the workplace.  These are lessons are really great life lessons in general, but when it comes to women succeeding in the workplace, these tips can help you with your career trajectory.  Over 400 women in Canada were polled for the study.

  1. Communicate your aspirations
  2. Get an education
  3. Be prepared financially for the unexpected
  4. Develop business acumen
  5. Understand the trade-offs of a career break
  6. Rethink guilt – focus on the positive
  7. Be confident –take career and life risks
  8. Find and learn from trusted mentors and mentees
  9. Network, network, network!
  10. Think about your legacy

While these tips can help women in their careers, challenges still preside as Canadian women are still struggling to find true equality in the workplace in terms of opportunity, leadership and pay.  However this is not just limited to Canada, according to greatplacetowork.ca this is a global phenomenon.  Here are some interesting statistics on women in the workplace in Canada:

  • Women make up almost half of the Canadian workforce
  • Male dominated industries still struggle to find qualified female candidates
  • Despite being well represented in the workplace and better educated than their male counterparts Canadian women hold just over 30% of senior management positions.
  • More than 45% of employed Canadian women work in one of 20 low-paying occupations, including retail sales associate, administrative assistant, and cashier positions. (Source: org)
  • Women’s participation rate in business and finance increased more than 44% from 1987 to 2009 (Source: Catalyst.org)
  • Women account for more than half of university graduates.
  • Younger women have a higher share of STEM degrees than older women, but overall, men continue to hold the majority of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) degrees. (Source: Catalyst.org)

5 Tips for Hiring Women in 2016 and Beyond

  1. Women want to work for companies that are committed to equality for women, so develop a clear diversity strategy – and advertise it.
  2. Setting targets for female hires can produce measurable results
  3. Top Workplaces support women through these career breaks in ways that address their individual circumstances. Offer creative maternity packages and make maternity leave affordable.  Offer Gradual return to work options.
  4. Promote parental support at work. Offering ‘family sick days’ or partnering with back-up care providers can go a long way.
  5. Flexibility is the new norm. This builds trust with your employees.  It also puts employees in control of their personal lives.

More women in the workplace best practices can be found at greatplacetowork.ca

So while workplace gender equality is not there yet, many organizations are taking steps to change this.  As this recent article from the Globe and Mail points out, millennial women are taking on some of the key roles within their companies:

“It’s no secret that millennials are coming into their own in the working world and, in particular, millennial women are making up a greater proportion of the work force than ever before, hitting a professional tipping point and taking on some of the strongest company roles, managing teams of varying experience, including other millennials. This is an exciting time to be a female millennial leader; we have a unique opportunity – and challenge – to shape the culture of our workplaces and forge the path to develop more young leaders.”

There has always been stereotypes around women in the workplace, but a lot of these stereo types have become myths.  Thoughts that women lack managerial experience or that women are too emotional just simply are not true.  Women in the workplace and shattering the myths and taking names.

Need help with your recruiting strategy?  Contact us today  to set up a consultation.  Set up an appointment to speak with one of our experienced HR consultants and begin preparing your recruiting strategy today!