Ways to support women in the workplace | The New Times


Women continue to face various struggles in the workplace; these range from sexual harassment, gender biases, balancing work and family, among others.

However, safety and empowerment of all employees should come first, according to Davis Kabera, CEO of KAI Ltd. 

 

Majority of women hold many responsibilities back at home than men, like child care and all-round home care. The challenge comes with maintaining balance, he says.

 

Kabera adds that successful employees will seek ways to advocate for their colleagues, a great way to promote a sense of belonging and teamwork that cares about the well-being of each individual, families and improves the bottom line of businesses. 

 

One of the great methods employees can use to support female colleagues is ensuring their voice is heard.

“During meetings, many leaders prefer going with participants who are quick and very vocal, most of them being men since the majority of women are soft and hold back. Acknowledging women during meetings, by making sure that their voice is heard, will build confidence and learn how to advocate for themselves,” Kabera adds. 

Christina Uwimana, a lecturer at University of Rwanda, says women need someone to give them enough time, that way; they are able to build trust.

“Women are generally insecure. One mistake will ruin all the trust they had for you. They don’t like sharing with a person who doesn’t seem to get all their attention, hence choose being protective,” Uwimana says.

She insists that being authentic plus creating ample time with female colleagues creates trust and an environment that favours them, with less office politics.

Check in with one another. Women seem to care much more than men do. They will think women share among themselves, yet some females prefer to share their problems with men, only if they honestly approach them. The consistency of this will as well build a rocking great workplace culture, she notes.

Uwimana further says, some women will actually not be aware of their own rights and this can be a challenge too.

“Due to their soft heart, they may accept things out of their will, which can at times abuse their rights. Reminding women at your workplace about their right and encouraging them to speak and say no can be another effective way,” Uwimana says.

Uwimana concludes that, treating female colleagues fairly is another great support because it builds confidence and proves them valued and able humans.

“There is nothing like a gendered brain. Women have their own way of looking or dressing which isn’t attached to their potential, great skills, ideas and ambition,” she says.

 A study conducted by the Centre for creative leadership found that more women in the workplace meant higher job satisfaction, higher organisation dedication, more meaningful work and less burnout.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com



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