Want to retain women? Be an ally.

This past year has been one of change for the job market. In fact, in the September 2021 issue of Harvard Business Review, their research found “employees between 30 and 45 years old have had the greatest increase in resignation rates, with an average increase of more than 20% between 2020 and 2021.” Twenty percent! This is indeed significant and worth a moment to consider. 

According to the McKinsey/LeanIn study, most of those leaving are mid level managers who, through the pandemic with increased responsibilities and additional care at home, reached new levels of overwhelm. These women want to reach further leadership positions. They are capable. However, they might need additional help as they seek to take on increased leadership responsibilities.

As you work to retain female talent in these changing times, be an ally. An ally is not someone who sits on the sidelines and passively gives advice to women. An ally actively uses their credibility to create better environments for others. Here are three tips on how to be an active ally to the women in your organization.

Three Tips to Be an Ally

  • Create a path to promotion. Make your short list for promotions longer and make sure to include female names on this list. Know what the women in your office are working towards and help them get there.
  • Offer in house training or money for professional development. If they have skills they need in order to take the next step within the company, help them find those opportunities to develop those needed skills. Invest in the potential of your internal employees instead of always looking outside to hire. 
  • Give women the needed support and guidance to navigate these changing times. Consider if performance reviews need to be revamped due to the nature of remote work or perhaps flexible work schedules need to be addressed.

Remember being an ally is not just saying, “Good job!” and calling it a day. Allyship involves being willing to see and invest in the potential of the women in your companies who are ready and willing to step into more significant roles. Whether you are a company looking to keep your female employees or you are one of those female employees, these three tips to being an ally can help. We know we are in a new normal and the quicker we learn to be flexible with the needs of this time, the better off our companies and workforce will be.

If you have questions or comments on this topics, please email pcook@wliut.com.