The Women’s Leadership Institute’s mission is to elevate the talents of women in business and politics. We work to shift companies’ mindsets to understand better the impact of elevating women through the business talent pipeline. Again and again, we have found teaching others about the importance of hiring, retaining, and promoting women involves promoting inclusivity, fostering understanding, and emphasizing the benefits of diversity in the workplace.
Engaging senior leadership in this effort and seeking support from influential organizational leaders is essential to encourage this diversity. This type of change often only happens once business leadership understands the value. Encourage executives and managers to champion diversity and inclusion initiatives and lead by example. When senior leadership is actively involved, it sends a strong message throughout the organization about the importance of these efforts.
5 Steps to Encourage Leaders to Elevate Women
- Start with empathy: Understand that people may have different perspectives and experiences shaped by their backgrounds. Approach conversations with compassion and a willingness to listen.
- Highlight the business case: Emphasize the advantages of diversity in the workplace. Studies have consistently shown that diverse teams perform better, make more innovative decisions, and achieve higher financial returns. Present data and real-life examples that demonstrate the positive impact of gender diversity on productivity, creativity, and profitability.
- Address unconscious bias: Individuals may have grown up in a different cultural and social context, so addressing any unconscious bias is essential. Discuss the concept of unconscious bias and how it can affect decision-making. Encourage self-reflection and provide resources to help individuals identify and mitigate their biases.
- Share success stories: Showcase examples of successful companies that have embraced diversity and reaped the benefits. Highlight organizations where the inclusion of women has led to positive outcomes, such as increased innovation, improved customer satisfaction, and enhanced employee morale. Personal stories from women who have excelled in their careers can also be influential in challenging stereotypes and preconceived notions.
- Educate about the changing workforce: Provide information about demographic shifts and changing expectations in the modern workforce. Explain that women increasingly pursue higher education, gain skills and qualifications, and enter various fields traditionally dominated by men. Help older individuals understand that leveraging this talent pool can give their organizations a competitive edge.
Conclusion: Remember, change takes time and patience. Consistently reinforce the message of diversity and inclusion and provide ongoing education and support. Encourage open dialogue and be willing to address concerns and misconceptions. Promoting understanding and highlighting the benefits can help foster a workplace environment that values and supports women.
Action Steps to Take: If you want to learn more on this topic, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for a company presentation. Also, consider sponsoring female employees in our leadership development series, Career Development Series, Rising Leader Series, and Political Development Series.