Driving Change: The Impact of Women in the Workplace women in the workplace

Driving Change: The Impact of Women in the Workplace

March 8th is International Women’s Day and represents a day of reflection, recognition, and celebration for women. On this day, we discuss efforts and struggles to overcome cultural barriers, reflect on how to work for equality, support women in the workplace, and recall the importance of human rights. It is a date of historical significance that builds momentum in diverse social, political, and cultural conversations. It should be something that is discussed every day. 

Women’s history is a book full of contrasts. Worldwide, we could collect diverse stories and testimonies of mothers, sisters, daughters, and caregivers, striving for success as leaders in a multigenerational workplace while overcoming cultural barriers in the places where they live. 

Today’s modern organizations have adopted various ways to support women around fundamental issues being raised. Beyond celebrating National Women’s History Month, the commemoration of this date calls for a deeper assessment of how best practices and policies can be adopted to support women’s personal and professional growth.  

Amplifying the Perspectives of Women in the Workplace

When I first started my career, over 20+ years ago, it was very common for me to be the only female voice at the table. Now, I regularly sit at the table with many women leaders, all who have forged their own path to success through a variety of channels. It’s refreshing to have a variety of perspectives from different gender and cultural backgrounds. It creates an environment where people can thrive and make an impact. 

Deloitte’s Women @ Work: A Global Outlook 2023 report presents findings from over 5,000 women surveyed in 10 countries, highlighting the importance of hybrid work, schedule flexibility, and a more significant commitment from organizations to support gender pay gap and gender equality. 

A similar perspective is found in PwC’s recent publication, Unmasking Inequalities: Delving Deeper into the Gender Pay Gap, Women in Work 2024, presenting findings on the evolution of gender equality in 33 countries of the Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development (OECD), highlighting the importance of working towards pay equity, employment opportunities, gender stereotypes, structural inequality, and ethnic minorities.

In addition to a variety of consultancies reports and research raising awareness on organizational and social improvement areas, McKinsey, in its 2023 Women in the Workplace report, highlights the importance of representativeness and empowering managers to become influential leaders. It also notes that proactively working on leadership and communication styles, strengthening hybrid and flexible work modalities, and delving into creating professional career plans, enables a clear and actionable path to climb the corporate ladder, encouraging the creation of more vacancies where women can grow professionally.

Bringing these reports, statistics, and trends to a corporate implementation is challenging for various industries. They represent collective efforts, executive sponsorship, and fundamentally reveal a significant gap in diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging programs.

Driving Change: The Impact of Women in the Workplace women in the workplace

Inspiring Change in the Workplace

International Women’s Day inspires reflection for current and future generations. Regardless of your role, take time for self-assessment. How can you and your team inspire more opportunities to accelerate progress and lead the change that significantly develops an equal, inclusive, and diverse workforce?

On this historic date, we explore five approaches implemented in organizations that are crucial to supporting women in the workplace. Use them to create a formula for your company’s success. 

1. Implement Surveys and Focus Groups 

Check the road map in your organization and female talent needs. Surveys and focus groups allow you to determine the needs of your teams, opportunities for improvement, and existing resources to create a long-term strategy.

2. Evaluate Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Strategies

Cultivating a positive culture for women in the workplace has led organizations worldwide to incorporate mandatory courses focused on assertive communication, diversity and inclusion, and unconscious biases as part of their onboarding and Learning and Development programs.

3. Choose the Right Route Map According to Your Organizational Maturity

There are various initiatives, such as Lean In Circle, where women can create circles and groups to share learning resources throughout the year related to negotiation, leadership, emotional intelligence, assertive communication, and interpersonal relationship management skills, among others. The official website for International Women’s Day showcases diverse topics that are useful for internal campaigns and social media.  Also, aligning with the UN and Women’s Empowerment Principles encourages the private sector and its partners to consider guidelines, practices, and policies for gender equality and women’s empowerment.

4. Create Local Committees and Facilitate Recognition and Conversational Spaces

With the support of the executive committee and other strategic areas of your company, you can identify learning paths, recognition programs, and celebrations around your team’s needs and aspirations. Encourage the promotion of audiovisual or written resources that can spark conversations, from a podcast or an article.

5. Identify Vertical or Horizontal Growth Strategies and Mentoring Opportunities

Career development plans remain a constant challenge in diverse industries. As a leader, you can foster corporate intrapreneurship projects or create squads to solve internal business problems. Shadowing, peer mentoring, or speed mentoring activities allow various managerial roles to stand out and leverage insightful conversations to guide top talents, young leaders, or any role with a great desire to learn from their peers.

Championing Implementation is a Collective Effort

These activities can be successfully implemented with the support of cross-functional areas and executive sponsorship. The discovery journey of understanding the challenges of your workplace relies on a profound reflection on rethinking leadership models, encouraging support, and active listening. From the tactics to broader strategies, involvement and action represent an invitation to look at our team challenges with empathy and understanding, making the workplace a safe place for women and all our team members.

One of our most valued strategies is building diverse teams where all our members can be heard and supported, enabling more initiatives where they can feel themselves. We strive to build a culture where our team members can grow and develop into their best versions.

At Playvox, women represent 44 percent of our global workforce. Women in high-level positions, from directors to the c-suite, account for 47 percent of leadership in 2024. Our global remote team — located in Colombia, Australia, the United States, and Europe — specializes in various disciplines and study fields, from software development to journalism, music studies to modern languages, where our lifelong learning approach, along with upskilling and reskilling programs, are fundamental to supporting their skills and professional growth.

Driving Change: The Impact of Women in the Workplace women in the workplace
Ismaily Piedra

With 20 years of human resources experience under her belt, Ismaily Piedra is the VP of human resources at Playvox. When she's not busy staying on top of trends driving change in the HR field, she loves to travel to new places, drink cappuccino in charming coffee shops, and watch the sun rise (ideally over the water).

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