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A warm welcome to our blog! Today we go over what you can do as a business to support your female employees in 2021. As the landscape of work has changed, especially for women with the pandemic, it is apparent that businesses need to adjust to increase support to their female employees. 

Studies show that women have been taking the burden of the pandemic given that they make up the majority of frontline workers and they take up more responsibilities of household and child care at home. Women account for 61% of workers in sectors hit hard by the pandemic such as tourism, food, retail, entertainment and alike. This means women were largely affected by the cut downs in jobs in these sectors. So here are some ways businesses can better support female employees facing today’s challenges.

 

Help women get back into work

Women that have transitioned out of work due to the pandemic can use the support of businesses when getting back to work. This means actively recruiting female workers who have the skills and qualifications to do the job. Flexible interviews and work arrangements can support women who have responsibilities at home. 

Be understanding of work gaps during this time where many women would be forced to choose between advancing their careers and home care duties. Training programs can also support women who need to upgrade or refresh their skills before going back into work.  

 

Support women working from home

Women working from home have had to work harder to keep up as domestic duties combined with online work have stretched their time and energy. Women with children have also had to tackle home schooling as students learn from home during different lockdown periods. Working from home also requires office equipment at home to ensure women are able to keep doing their work. 

Extra stipends for equipment and at home child care costs can go a long way. Businesses should also ensure women working from home do not fall behind on progressing in their careers. Strategies need to be made so those working remotely are able to stay connected with the company without being overburdened by extra hours or meetings. 

 

Provide benefits that support women

Providing equal pay is a major step forward in gender equality that businesses can implement. Working mothers should be supported with benefits that include child care at work. Paid parental leave for both mothers and fathers will also support women. This will help them cope with the added burdens they face in such times of crisis. Women in general that are coping with the effects of the pandemic can be offered reduced or flexible hours as well as compressed work weeks given their extra responsibilities at home. 

 

Tackle existing underlying bias

Businesses should keep working on addressing already existing biases on women such as the pay gap. Ensure women are included in key decision making on your team. Perceptions and bias towards women are still a work in progress. About 74% of men believe they are doing everything to support gender equality while only 41% of women believe men are doing so. Many biased viewpoints continue to plague the workplace as sexism and harassment are still a major issue.  

 

Build awareness on the challenges and solutions

Greater efforts can be made towards understanding how female employees are feeling about their workplace. Businesses can identify if their women workers feel safe, acknowledged and understood at work as well as what changes they feel need to take place. Businesses can support the progress on women’s issues by continuing to raise awareness. This can be done by spreading knowledge on the challenges they face as well as the solutions that can help women keep moving forward. Businesses can also support NGOs and activists that support women.

If you like this article check out more of our blogs here. AJ Connect is a people centred recruitment agency that works to provide businesses with top notch recruitment services. Contact us to learn more.

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