Women In the Workplace
Looking to discuss the common concerns and issues women face in today’s workplace, we sat down with a group of Emerge leaders to gain more insight from their experiences.
Being a woman in leadership, how has Emerge supported and valued you in your role? “Emerge has supported me as woman in leadership by embracing my voice. I feel heard … not just listened to, but heard… It’s that distinction that makes me feel valued.”
What is the best advice you can give to working mothers that are transitioning into management roles?
“Being a working mom can be very challenging. Having children really does change everything, but having a company that embraces those changes and supports you throughout the transition is incredibly important. My best advice involves 2 words: FOCUS and BALANCE. For anyone transitioning into a management role, you must maintain your focus on what that role requires and what your team will need from you. While working, give as much focus as possible to productivity, collaboration, and results with your team. Working moms need to be reassured that switching from ‘Mom’ to ‘Work’ doesn’t diminish the ‘Mom’ role. You can be successful at both!”
“At the same time, working parents need to remember that after they leave the office or enter back into ‘Mom’ role, to shift focus back to your kids. Close your laptop, ignore your phone for a few hours. Focus on your children and family and truly embrace and enjoy that time. Success isn’t always about achieving perfection. I believe it’s about finding a healthy work/life balance and celebrating the daily work achievements as well as being there as often as possible to experience life through your children’s eyes.”
What advice do you have for women on breaking the bias in their career paths?
“It’s not always that simple and not everyone has the resources, but in today’s working world there are many ways to find out information. For example; some companies will promote their cultures, values, and sometimes their internal programs on posted job descriptions – that can help with the understanding upfront. There are so many different ways to aid in reducing bias especially for women breaking into the workforce, it starts with you.”
- Do your research.
- Be prepared.
- Talk to other women.
- Know your limits.
- Ask questions.
- Don’t assume.
What steps can organizations take to conquer unconscious bias in the workplace? “Organizations can take several steps to address unconscious bias in the workplace. HR can offer Unbiased Training sessions to teach awareness and include the following action items:
- Set an Example – It’s the experience of the leader that will influence the team
- Check Yourself – Encourage everyone to self-check their thoughts and actions. Look for your pre-established filters.
- Set Diversity Goals – Make it a company policy that for all new open jobs, you interview and recruit people from a variety of backgrounds
- Encourage Conversation – Learn what outside groups or organizations employees belong to or where they volunteer – find ways to increase your first-hand knowledge rather than implied knowledge of your team members
There is no quick fix to unconscious bias – but with awareness, communication and a willingness to change, you will see a difference.”