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Years ago, women who wanted to be taken seriously in the business world had to take on the characteristics of a man in a male-dominated world. They dressed in dark suits, spoke in deep voices, took aggressive and assertive stances in the boardroom and in negotiations, and showed little or no emotion. How ridiculous, if not unnatural, to be forced to downplay the genre itself.
Despite the great advances that women have made in business, politics, entertainment, and the arts over the past few decades, we still have a long way to go before they are fully integrated and celebrated in the American workforce. . It begins by highlighting and emulating the unique qualities and traits that have enabled women to succeed, the attributes that set them apart from their male counterparts.
Businesses that want to succeed should not only hire and promote women; they need to listen to them and learn from them. When women are fully involved in business, everyone succeeds.
Don’t go blind
To be truly successful, companies would need to incorporate more women at all levels. Recruitment and recruitment processes must ensure that gender is not a factor, either explicitly or subliminally. Application questions should be written in a way that doesn’t identify gender, and recruitment should be done through multiple channels, not just through the “network of old guys”.
That said, there is no such thing as blind or fair hiring. Even if we believe we are righteous and open-minded, we are all shaped and overshadowed by our background and experiences. So let’s get the words out.
At some point in the process, your recruiter will know the gender of the applicant, and if your company did its job of diversifying the disclosure, it is likely that the applicant is a woman. Don’t try to overlook their gender. Instead, do your best to find a place in your organization where you can learn, grow, and contribute, and pay appropriately.
Related: Be the Change: Lessons from a Businesswoman (for Other Businesswomen)
Women work differently
Women are natural players and team leaders. They usually read the room, non-verbal cues, and body language better than their male counterparts. They tend to be more direct and transparent, as well as supporting others. When male egos and rivalries are tempered or eliminated, the workplace can be less toxic and more productive.
They must also teach their male leaders and workers how to accept the qualities that women exemplify. These are traits inherent in most men, but men have been trained to suppress them. Imagine a workplace where people really listened. Imagine a company where more employees support the efforts of others and celebrate the successes of others. This should not be something to imagine, but something to encourage.
It is now owned and operated by women. For example, Bobbie, a parent-run company, set up a new employee support system after its co-founder saw how the pandemic was changing the landscape of working women. As mothers across the country left the workforce to care for parents and young children, a new internal role was established to provide a balance to workers who juggled the demands of working life, to alleviate the invisible mental weight.
All workers, not just working mothers, could benefit from this system, as could the companies they work for. A more balanced workforce, one that reduces stress and increases productivity, can only improve a company’s results.
Women deserve more
So why are women still undervalued and, in many professions, virtually closed? In March, we marked on the calendar the number of extra days that women, on average, have to work to earn what men, on average, earned the previous year. For mothers and many women of color, this date is still a long way off.
The good news is that women are no longer settling down. If they can’t be accepted and valued in the “good guys” club, they will seamlessly create their own jobs. Women are networked masters who choose to collaborate in the competition and know that a high tide lifts all boats. They understand the importance of connecting with customers and stakeholders. They value family and team above their own egos.
Related: Women entrepreneurs share successes, challenges and tips for entrepreneurs
Women are succeeding
And they are succeeding. According to a recent PitchBook Data report, the founders of all-female companies with women’s teams received $ 6.9 billion in risk funding in 2021, compared to $ 3.3 billion in 2020. Mixed teams with at least one founder go receive $ 47 billion in venture capital financing in 2021, more than $ 19 billion in 2020. By 2022, venture capitalists had already invested $ 980 million in women’s founding teams, compared to $ 758 million. millions of dollars from all of 2012, according to the report.
Investors don’t throw money away. They do their due diligence and invest only when they are confident that they will see a good return on their investment. Employers should do the same. They should look beyond old prejudices and stereotypes, and invest in a workforce that welcomes and celebrates women and their unique knowledge, energy and talents.