Women’s History Month might be over, but after the year Australian women at work have had, we need more than one month’s support and focus to get us not only back on our feet, but out in front and shining. It's undeniable that 2020 was a really tough year for so many. We’ve been hit hard by the She-cession, the rise in domestic violence, the historic job losses and the widening of the gender pay gap—the old systems and institutions have failed us and, seriously, we are all tired.
But it is never too late to be a champion of diversity and inclusion at work. Regardless of if you have your own business, a side hustle or working for someone, are male, female, non-binary—there’s something we can all do to make an impact for the women and marginalised genders at work today and for the next generation coming through. Fleur Madden, CEO of women’s jobs platform Freelancing Gems shares her tips for being a champion of women at work.
#1 The 9 To 5 Is Dead—It’s Time To Get Flexible
Say goodbye to the nine to five and hello to the age of flexible working! It is a hard adjustment, especially for more traditional businesses, but by trusting our employees to get their work done in the hours that suit them means keeping the talents of these people in your business, who need that flexibility. Flexibility overall creates a culture of freedom that will only benefit your company culture.
A recent report of close to 200 women who freelance, consult or run a side hustle showed 36% of women have left their last role because of their need for flexible work. With so many women in care mode at home, driving flexibility at your work will ensure you can support women who have a meaningful contribution to make to your business.
#2 Think BIGGER About Your Recruitment Practices
If one good thing came out of Covid-19 it was the opportunity to start thinking differently about recruitment and how we find amazing talent. What if your company was recruiting for the very best talent anywhere in the country and not the best talent in one specific location? You can start by speaking to your HR department about how you can be more intentional with your recruitment efforts. Where do you search for talent? Look at job sites that support remote or freelance talent like women’s jobs platform Freelancing Gems or expert talent marketplace Expert360. Job sites that support the gig economy are home to the most dynamic talent and you will find a rare gem that may not have applied for a full-time job with you because they are in another city, looking for remote work or redefining their nine to five.
#3 Drop The Ladder Down
If any one group in our society is hurting, we all have a responsibility to help in a meaningful way. Helping those on the rise in your business by becoming a mentor or a buddy, or simply mentioning the name of someone deserving when an opportunity comes up, can change the direction of someone’s career.
#4 Invest In Women
It’s a sad fact that female-founded businesses receive less than 2% of available venture capital funding in Australia, however those same female-founded business deliver more than 35% return on investment to their investors…. surely that tide is about to change when it comes to investing in female led businesses, and you can be that change. There’s lots of ways you can invest in and champion women at work. Work with, or buy from female-founded businesses, make deliberate decisions to support more local and small businesses, or it might be as simple as investing in the professional development of the women on your team. If you fancy yourself an investor, invest in opportunities with women in the driving seat and look forward to that 35% return on your investment! Nothing bad happens when women have more money…literally, nothing!
Next, give your LinkedIn profile a glow up with these handy tips.
Image Credit: Gemma Chua Tran/Unsplash
Fleur Madden is the CEO of Australia’s first freelance job site Freelancing Gems, dedicated to female freelancers, consultants, sole-traders and side hustlers. She is a champion of women in business and passionate about supporting women to have successful businesses and charge what they are worth.