Happy Women’s Equality Day! Today is the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote! Although, it’s important to call out that while this amendment allowed most middle-class women to vote, the women’s suffragette movement continued well into the 20th century. While it’s amazing to look back on all that has been accomplished in the American women’s rights movement, we still have a way to go.
What other strides need to be made to reach equality? Recent research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that while there was dramatic progress towards gender equality between 1970-2018, change in some areas recently began to plateau. It almost seems like we have reached a level of acceptance that “this is as good as it gets” for women. While women are pursuing higher education more than ever, women still receive only about 82 cents for every dollar a man makes, according to the Center for American Progress. This gap increases widely for women of color, with Hispanic or Latina women only making 54 cents for a man’s dollar. So, what can we ALL (all genders) do to create the next wave of progress in women’s equality?
Here are a few tips:
1. Be Aware of & Prevent Occupational Segregation
Historically “female” positions—think teachers and caregivers–are undervalued and paid less than traditional “male” jobs to this day. Check your biases of these roles here (with the Gender-Career IAT) and be mindful of this history surrounding women-dominated fields. Look for opportunities to encourage women you know to explore multiple industries. If you are in STEM or other male-dominated fields, offer mentorship to women interested in these jobs.
2. Create United Gender Policies
Due to social expectations that women should bear the brunt of household/caregiving duties, women often are forced out of the workforce sooner than men and can struggle to get back into it. Create equal policies at your organization that allow parents of all genders flexibility to function as a team. For example, offer paternity leave, flexible hours, work-from-home, and personal paid time off to make all of your employees (even non-parents) more productive and integrate work and home life more easily.
3. Support Women’s Development
Offer development to help women at your organization move past the unique challenges and demands they face being a career professional.
- Our Women In Leadership Program specifically tackles issues women face in the workplace, including confidence and work/life integration.
- Our Manager Development Program ensures that your top talent are ready to step into leadership roles and give them tools to more effectively manage their work and team.
4. Elevate Women’s Voices
Take a look around and ensure diverse perspectives are at the table for key decisions. If needed, include another level of management or change the way your decisions are made to be more inclusive.
5. Develop & Invest in Yourself
Ladies, advocate and invest in yourself—if you have a goal you’re needing help achieving, consider enrolling in coaching or a program like PRADCO’s WILPower, which will give you the tools to fuel your personal growth.
With so much progress for gender equality happening in such a short timeframe, it’s almost easy to forget that there are still massive gains to be made by everyone to work toward a society that allows all genders equal opportunity.