MANILA, Philippines – Every March, we celebrate Women’s Month – not just to honor history but also to support the continued (and much needed) fight for equality.
One place that’s constantly plagued by gender issues is the office. And today, it is common to find workplaces with initiatives to support the worldwide campaign.
While context differs per company, there are still various ways your workplace can show solidarity for the movement. Here are some examples:
Take advantage of how people are inclined to visually appealing designs by decorating your office with the campaign’s theme color of purple. Make the color stand out by bombarding the office with purple ornaments such as balloons, posters, and banners across every corner.
If your company isn’t the type to spend on these (boo!), then a simpler way to celebrate is by asking employees to bring something purple to the office. A good alternative is to ask them to wear anything purple on a specified date in March.
It doesn’t always have to be grand. What’s important is that everyone is on the same page. Being surrounded by the color is striking to the eyes, and it sticks with the messaging of what Women’s Month stands for. It’s a way for people to unite together for a cause.
Empathy and gratefulness
When incorporating a Women’s Month campaign for your workplace, it’s crucial to remember the reason for such a project. Nobody wants an artificial employee engagement program. If you’re discerning in celebrating Women’s Month, make sure to align with your committee regarding what your purpose is.
Every woman must be seen as the main subject and not a pseudo-inclusive environment. If you want to support women with flashy company gimmicks, then it’s also important to understand the struggle and achievements they’ve been through.
Take it easy on the buzzwords and go for something more genuine. Perhaps feature real-life stories from your employees themselves. History has seen brave women make a massive impact on forming our world today. With this, it’s essential to make your female employees feel that they’re as relevant as the strong pillars of women in history.
It doesn’t have to be a grand dramatization of their lives. A simple sign of gratitude for enduring work while making the sacrifices they’ve made would suffice. Be creative and always remember to keep them as the priority.
If you’re in a position to make proposals for the company policy, then include suggestions that can benefit women. A single mom in your office might have had a long night trying to balance her monthly report by helping her kid’s exams. Why not give her a flexible schedule the next day to recover? Women have different experiences, and it’s vital to have the empathy to fully understand what the people are going through.
Challenge the unconscious bias
It’s amazing how women have positively changed the world throughout time, and yet prejudices are still prevalent. Unfortunately, gender stereotypes against women remain widespread. Discrimination at the expense of our female colleagues happens a lot.
This has always been a problem. When people allow stereotypes to prevail, it’s usually because of our unconscious biases. These are our tendencies formed because of the years we’ve been programmed to make “quick decisions.”
Our brains often go on autopilot because of the millions of stimuli that we have to filter through daily. Instead of understanding the situation, our mind formulates an automatic response to fill in the context. An example of this is we formed stereotypes between men and women concerning leadership. Men are perceived as masculine figures, much like how leaders are depicted in media, film, and culture. This can cast doubt on our perception of women even though their gender should have nothing to do with their leadership skills.
It’s a long process to unlearn one’s “programming.” However, it’s also one way of the best ways to support our female colleagues. We can start educating our employees and/or officemates about their unconscious biases and train them to be aware of these things. Educational email blasts, employee-training days, revision of company policies are among the many options to consider in shedding light on this concern.
This will not just benefit Women’s Month but also, moving forward, the rest of our lives. It won’t be a task done overnight, but we must start somewhere.
The harsh reality is that not everyone is treated equally, and being open and educated will open new doors in helping your colleagues succeed. The best way we can support women is by making an authentic relationship with them through self-awareness and a better understanding of what they go through. – Rappler.com
Chino is a writer who is taking his masters in business administration. He entered the Human Resources field after graduating in 2015.
There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.