The first African-American woman elected to the U.S. Congress, Shirley Chisholm, once said, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”
Women like Shirley have been breaking the glass ceiling and changing the face of workplaces across the country for decades. The U.S. Department of Labor reports there are 74.6 million women in the workforce and nearly 10 million businesses across the country are women-owned. Not only do women double the hiring pool for employers, but they bring strengths to their jobs their male counterparts might not have.
Discover a few of the reasons every employer should hire women to build the right work culture:
Women Increase Diversity
If you’re looking to increase diversity in your workforce, hire a woman. Of course, it’s not the only way to bring variety into your organization, but by employing women of different ages and backgrounds, you can increase diversity even more. Not only can women change the look of the office, but they can also advocate for inclusivity in regards to race, culture, and sexual orientation.
Want to improve gender diversity in your workplace? Consider strategically choosing members for committees and your interviewing taskforce. Having a variety of people on teams shows that you’re thinking about the face of your company. When interviewing prospective candidates, a diverse hiring panel might even make those in other underrepresented groups feel more comfortable.
Women Speak Up About Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment in the workplace has long been an issue. However, the #MeToo movement, along with countless high-profile sexual harassment cases, has brought a new level of awareness and humanness to the subject. Up to 90% of people who experience harassment at work never file a formal complaint, and 75% never complain to their employer.
When women are in the workplace, especially in management or HR positions, those who have been discriminated against tend to be more willing to come forward and report the incident. Not only are victims more likely to report incidents, but those who witness harassment at work will more frequently speak up before the entire office culture suffers. This means that having women in your workforce can actually keep your team safer from wrongdoing.
Women Impact the Bottom Line
When you have women in the workplace, success might be on your horizon. Companies with more female board directors outperform other boards by up to 66 percent. Some companies that have prioritized diversity for board membership, including Coca Cola Enterprises, Eli Lilly & Company, and Walmart.
Because women often excel at interpersonal skills, female leaders perform well in areas like self-development and collaboration. Being able to connect with coworkers and clients can sometimes give women the edge when it comes to closing deals.
Women leaders and innovators in business aren’t new. Many women have been introducing new ideas and methods into our workplace culture for years. If you don’t believe us, take a look at these notable innovators:
Marie Curie was a pioneer in radioactivity research. Her work not only led to her being named the first woman to win the Nobel Prize, but she is also the first person and only women to win it twice.
Ada Lovelace was breaking into STEM in the 1800s. She was a mathematician, is known for her work on one of the first computers, and is known as the first programmer.
Ruth Graves Wakefield might not be a name you recognize. However, if you ever take an afternoon break with a Toll House Cookie, you should send a special thank-you up to this early innovator.
As you can see, women have been innovators and change-makers for centuries. Modern innovators work at startups, run Fortune 500 companies, and break into untouched workplace territories each day. As more women go into science, engineering, and entrepreneurship, they are providing new ideas and changing the trajectory of the future of women in the workforce.
Women Excel at Soft Skills
Because technology seems to be on the top of the list for almost all employers these days, it’s easy to forget that human skills matter. However, if there are women in your workforce, these skills are most likely not forgotten and even achieved with excellence. Soft skills are interpersonal skills like empathy, communication, and collaboration. Women are naturally skilled at bringing others together to solve problems and network, because they understand the need for human-to-human connection.
Changing the Workplace for the Next Generation
You work hard every day to achieve your goals and support your family. However, your work isn’t only creating a healthier work environment for your employees, it’s impacting the next generation of female workers. So, the next time you need a little emotional pick-me-up, remember that your innovations, contributions, and voice will be heard for years to come.