A record-breaking four million people left their jobs in April 2021, sparking something experts have dubbed the “Great Resignation.” One survey found that more than 40% of employees are considering leaving their current position.
The reasons for this aren’t surprising. When the pandemic started, white-collar workers went remote, and blue-collar workers were expected to put themselves on the front line to keep everything running.
Now, people are burned out, and they’re looking for companies that genuinely care about their well-being. They want higher salaries, greater flexibility and more personal fulfillment — and they’re willing to leave their current jobs to find it.
Women were hit especially hard during this pandemic workforce shift. In fact, in the last year, nearly three million women didn’t just leave their jobs — they left the workforce altogether.
Now more than ever, it’s critical to show women they’re appreciated and valued in the workplace.
6 Ways To Celebrate Women’s Appreciation Day
Social media shoutouts, meaningful gifts and lunch on the company are all nice ways to celebrate employees, but there are ways to go beyond the standard. In this blog post, we talk about 6 excellent ways to commemorate women in the workplace today and every day.
1. Eliminate the Gaps in Pay and Leadership
On average, women still only make 82% of what their male peers earn, and despite receiving the majority of degrees every year and comprising 47% of the workforce, women are still promoted less often than men. In fact, there’s only one female CEO for every four male CEOs, and only 5% of Fortune 500 companies have women leaders.
To really appreciate the women in the office, companies will need to advocate for and provide equality in salaries, promotions and leadership opportunities. When women see their companies taking these strides, they’ll feel genuinely valued, because they’ll know they’re being paid what they’re worth and being promoted on their merit.
2. Advocate for Gender Equality
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, women were more likely to have been laid off or considered leaving due to increased responsibilities at home. To ensure women have equal opportunities to continue to progress in their career, companies need to reexamine existing policies and ensure there are equitable opportunities for inclusion.
Some programs to consider include:
Paid Maternity Leave
Programs to Advance Women Leaders
Flexible Work Schedules
Inclusion and Diversity Training
Mentorship Opportunities for Women
Ultimately, businesses need to look into adding programs and benefits that allow women to balance their household lives and working lives harmoniously while providing means for career advancement.
3. Have a Group Conversation With Women in the Office
Sometimes, the best way to get information about how the women in the office feel is to ask them directly. Companies should consider having a group conversation where the women in the office are encouraged to discuss their specific pain points with current company policy.
This conversation can be in-person and formal or something a bit more low-key, like a virtual coffee chat. If the women in the office are hesitant to share their candid beliefs, supervisors should consider an anonymous survey option instead. Either way, getting feedback is extremely beneficial, as employers can see what is going right and what can be improved upon.
4. Recognize Individuality
Too often, companies and male leaders make the mistake of lumping women together in one group. However, women are different and have different needs in the workplace. For instance, a woman nearing retirement will have very different needs than a woman just entering the workforce, just like the women with children will have very different needs than those without them.
Companies have to look for ways to value all of their female employees on an individual level. One way to do that is via a customized lifestyle benefits platform, like Fringe, which allows people to choose the benefits that best suit their lives today.
5. Involve Everyone
When talking about Women’s Appreciation Day, many companies just focus on the women in the office. Instead, businesses should get everyone of all gender identities involved in the conversation. Here’s why.
Research shows that when men are involved in gender inclusion activities, 96% of the companies see progress in gender equality. However, if men do not participate, only 30% of the companies see improvement. This is a substantial difference that definitely warrants full-office involvement in all gender inclusive initiatives.
6. Support Women-Owned Businesses
Another way companies can show support on Women’s Appreciation Day is to support women-owned businesses. If possible, companies should aim to partner with more women-owned companies. Doing business with these companies is a strong signal that a company cares about contributing to equal economic empowerment and representation.
Another similar way to show support is through donations to organizations that support women. Some companies might choose monetary donations, while others will find ways to partner with these organizations. The most important thing is to illustrate a solid commitment to supporting women.
Make a Meaningful Impact on Women’s Appreciation Day
Ultimately, to truly show appreciation on Women’s Appreciation Day, companies need to work towards equality, representation and providing meaningful recognition to their women in their workplace.
Otherwise, they might lose them to companies that do a better job at recognizing the women in their workplace. With a program like Fringe, you can also offer personalized benefits for all of the women in your company, proving to them how valued and respected they truly are.
Take a look at Fringe’s website for more ways to show appreciation for your female employees. Schedule a demo to discover the many lifestyle benefits Fringe has to offer.