How companies can improve by being aware of the challenges women face

June 23, 2015 in ,

Women business owners have been trying their best to reach the top of the food chain in the business world ever since they became involved with it, and for good reason.

Women looking to succeed in business still face challenges due to gender barriers. For example, a Gallup survey reported that employees who have female bosses feel more engaged, however, only one in three working Americans said they actually have a female boss.  But the barriers to success are slowly being broken down due to the improving awareness of how women are being held back in the office.

What challenges do females face in the workplace?
The Huffington Post highlighted the top three challenges women face when they try to make it to the top. The visualization they are given of top positions is not a pretty one, as the source reported they felt their ideas and values were not encouraged within those specific positions. Women typically perceive top management positions to have more expectations than what is in the job description, such as taking on a high-profile client or being an excellent networker.

“One of the biggest revelations of the research was that women and men will come into the workplace with equivalent levels of aspiration—in our experience, women come in with higher levels of aspiration to get to top management—but then we see a big drop-off with the more experienced women in their organizations who have been there longer,” co-author of “Everyday Moments Of Truth: Frontline Managers Are Key to Women’s Career Aspirations” Julie Coffman told The Huffington Post. “Somehow, they are less certain that they actually have an interest in going for those top spots, whereas for men, that doubt doesn’t seem to creep in.”

Additionally, the source mentioned that women lack a cultivating relationship with their supervisors. They don’t feel very supported in developing their career, but when this happens to men, it doesn’t affect them as much as it does females. A support system like this is crucial to help women rise to the top.

How women can get to the top
Supervisors can do their part by opening up women to new management roles. The Huffington Post said that role models are crucial, especially women role models. If there are no women in senior roles, then many may come to believe that the attempt to get there is impossible. Any confidence that females may have can be replaced with self-doubt when they don’t have an individual to look up to in the business world.

Women also have to look at how much progress is being made and make a pledge to continue breaking the glass ceiling. The report stated that a way to get rid of these restrictions would be to overhaul internal processes and examine the aspects of corporate culture that are inclusive to women. It will take much examination of the way things are done to further improve the opportunities for them.

Thankfully, women are slowly approaching those top positions and will potentially become a great asset for businesses. A report by the International Labor Organization stated that over the last six years, companies with at least one female member on their board outperformed by 26 percent those with no women. This statement alone should be enough to encourage companies to find ways to involve women in top-tier management positions.

The best approach to destroy these challenges that women face is to be more aware of them. Employees, male or female, should always look for the factors that can hold women back in a work environment. However, observing these issues are not enough. Many companies are finding ways to address these issues. Resources for women employees—such as support groups—can help them find role models and help bolster their initial aspirations.

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