Gender equality is a fundamental human right, and it's the responsibility of all organizations to promote and uphold it in the workplace. While there are numerous measures companies can implement to advance gender equality, HR systems—especially those that manage performance and rewards—play a crucial role in ensuring that the workplace is inclusive and equitable for women.
In this blog, we'll discuss six key ways that HR systems can support women's equality in the workplace.
1. Data-Driven Approach
One of the key elements of HR systems that support women's equality is a data-driven approach. This involves using data analytics to identify and address gender disparities in the workplace, such as unequal pay, lack of representation in leadership positions, and biases in the hiring process. By collecting and analyzing data, HR can make informed decisions that advance gender equality and track progress over time. This requires advanced analytics that can uncover hidden bias in pay practices and propose remediation steps.
2. Flexible Work Arrangements
Women often face unique challenges, such as caregiving responsibilities, which can make it difficult for them to work traditional 9-to-5 schedules and can impact their careers. HR systems that support women's equality should allow for flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting, part-time work, and flexible hours, to help women balance their work and personal lives. By offering flexible work arrangements, companies can help retain talented women, reduce turnover, and increase productivity. This may require flexibility in compensation and benefits approaches, as well as systems that create connection and belonging, even in a remote workforce.
3. Diverse Hiring and Career Development
To support women's equality, HR systems should facilitate diversity and inclusivity in the hiring process. This includes actively seeking out and recruiting women and other underrepresented groups, and using unbiased selection criteria. Furthermore, women are often underrepresented in leadership positions, so HR systems must support their career development by offering training, mentorship, and sponsorship programs that can help them advance their careers and reach their full potential.
4. Providing Feedback & Coaching
According to research by Harvard Business Review, men get more actionable feedback on the job than their female colleagues do. Without any clear guidance from their managers, women must work harder to understand how to meet and exceed the expectations of their roles. Women can only advance in their careers if they receive the feedback they need for self-awareness and to ensure they are aligning with company goals and values. Providing a mechanism for peer feedback and 360 surveys, along with effective coaching from managers, can help women know whether or not they are on the right path toward career advancement.
5. Pay Transparency & Equity
Pay disparity is a significant challenge for women in the workplace. beqom’s Leveling the Paying Field Report revealed that the majority of employees do not think their employer/manager takes closing the gender pay gap seriously. HR systems that support women's equality must provide pay transparency, which means making information about pay and compensation readily available to employees so that they understand the pay structures and can see exactly how their compensation is calculated. This promotes fairness and accountability and helps to eliminate gender-based pay disparities. Together with the data-driven approach described above, pay transparency and a commitment to equal pay can create a level playing field in which women can thrive.
6. Monitoring and tracking progress
HR systems must regularly monitor and track progress in promoting gender equality in the workplace. This can be done through regular audits, surveys, and employee feedback mechanisms. The results of these efforts should be used to continuously improve HR systems and ensure that they are effectively supporting women's equality in the workplace.
Systems must support policies
Having great policies without the means to implement them is useless. If a company is serious about women’s equality, it will have KPIs and policies to support it and the systems in place to make those policies a reality.
HR systems play a critical role in promoting and sustaining women's equality in the workplace. By implementing data-driven approaches, flexible work arrangements, diverse hiring and career development, feedback and coaching, pay transparency and equity, and ongoing monitoring, HR can help to create a more equitable and inclusive workplace for women. Organizations that want to take advantage of the talent and potential of women must prioritize gender equality and invest in the HR systems that support it.
Are you looking to ensure you are supporting women’s equality in your organization? Let beqom help you by booking a meeting with one of our performance and reward experts here.
Download beqom’s 2023 Leveling the Paying Field Report to get a sense of employee experiences and perspectives on the gender pay gap, pay transparency, and other aspects of compensation.