Women are an integral part of the workforce around the entire world. Every aspect of a business, from the front lines to the highest levels of management, benefits from having women working within them. Women aren’t just mothers, friends, daughters, or sisters — women are also entrepreneurs, COOs, CEOs, and presidents of companies worldwide. Women make the workplace better and the world is lucky to have so many hardworking women willing to take on the challenges that the business world poses.
Challenges Women Still Face
Women are now dominant in the workforce largely thanks to their economic empowerment. Over the last century, women have steadily gained more control over household spending, entered the workforce, and helped fuel the development of the healthcare, retail, and education industries. Despite this increase in economic sway and the fact that they now make up a larger part of the workforce than men, women still face challenges every day when it comes to working in any industry.
While the modern era is certainly a better place for women in the workplace than ever before, women still face discrimination and hurdles that men simply never encounter. Gender discrimination is widespread whether overt or obscure in nature and women are constantly fighting to correct institutional wrongs that have no place in the 21st century. Unequal or inadequate pay, sexual harassment, inappropriate interview questions, and diminished responsibility despite being qualified are all examples of gender discrimination that women face in the workplace today.
Women also have a harder time finding an appropriate work/life balance than men for a variety of reasons. As the cost of living across the US, for example, have continued to rise over the last two decades, women’s wages have grown more slowly than men’s wages, further increasing the already stark wage gap. Additionally, women still regularly face discrimination in the workplace when they become pregnant or are even trying to have children.
How Women Change Entire Industries
Women have long been underrepresented in many industries, especially many of the trade industries. However, despite this chronic underrepresentation, women actually thrive and excel in what have been considered traditionally male-dominated industries and trades. Whether a woman is a plumber, an electrician, a coder, or an IT specialist, they tend to not only perform well within their role but even surpass men that are doing the same work.
When it comes to the workplace, women are not just excellent employees that bring invaluable diversity and skills to their jobs, they are also incredibly capable in leadership roles. In leadership roles, women are resilient, not averse to taking risks, and incredibly agile when it comes to making important decisions. General Motors understands just how capable women are seeing as GM’s CEO and CFO are both women along with 45% of their board of directors.
Companies helmed by female entrepreneurs are successful because many women leaders are driven not only by profit but passion as well. When it comes down to it, women change the industries that they choose to become a part of because they won’t settle for the status quo and refuse to stop making sure that they are doing the best possible job.
Women In Business Is Just Good Business
One of the greatest benefits of having women in any and every part of a business is the simple fact that women bring a unique perspective with them wherever they go. The life and work experiences that a woman has will undoubtedly be different from their male cohorts and that sort of diversity allows a business to avoid operating from a singular mindset. Gender diversity in the workplace effectively removes the blinders from a business and allows it to build itself up to much greater heights than otherwise possible.
Women are transforming the workplace at every level because they are really the future face of business. Women are risk-takers as entrepreneurs but still understand the need to adequately prepare themselves for a changing future. Their ability to flourish within current workplace settings and their keen eye for what is set to come in the working world cannot be understated.
Women-owned businesses deserve to be supported and lifted into the public eye. Referring women-owned businesses to friends and family, engaging with them on social media, and letting them know how their products perform are all great ways to give women-led businesses a well-deserved boost. After all, even when faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges, women who own and operate businesses fought their way into the public eye and deserve their time in the spotlight.
As we enter a new decade, the idea that women are somehow less capable workers and leaders than men is outdated, shortsighted, and is going to be left behind forever. Women are great workers, powerful leaders, and their ability to transform the workplace should always be acknowledged.
THIS ARTICLE WAS WRITTEN BY INDIANA LEE AND ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON YOUR COFFEE BREAK.