Fact: women are essential in the business world, but just how essential are they? Great companies take different approaches when striving for greatness. One solid way is through diversity.
When people hear diversity, they immediately think of race or tax bracket. What does not come to mind is women. No matter their color or bank account, being a woman is very difficult in the work field, from being leered at inappropriately to making 78 cents to the dollar of what men make.
What some companies fail to recognize is that there are just as many women as there are men on this planet, but women talk. We integrate and bring each other up when needed. There are so many programs for women empowerment and they are a strong force to be reckoned with.
However, there are companies that do recognize this, for example, Standard Chartered (an international bank) takes a multi-faceted approach that considers the different ways women create value as employees, consumers and community members.
“We offer a range of advice, support and training for women setting up or expanding their business. As an international bank, we have a naturally diverse workforce. We employ more than 90,000 people − nearly half of whom are women − representing 133 nationalities worldwide. This provides us with a strong competitive advantage, enabling us to understand better the needs of those who bank with us.”
Here are just a few ways they support women entrepreneurs across different markets all over the world, according to their website:
- Working with the Bangladesh Federation of Women Entrepreneurs to deliver training and development
- Supporting war widows in Sri Lanka’s Jaffna peninsula with microfinance loans. Interest from the repayments are targeted at being fed back into the Seeing is Believing fund for the region
- Creating networking opportunities and development seminars for our women clients and business owners, such as roundtable breakfasts, health and wellbeing events, and financial literacy training
- Launching our Care4Ladies insurance plan in Ghana, which is tailored specifically to provide coverage on the specific health needs of our women customers
- Offering our women entrepreneurs in India a bundled Business Installment Loan with preferential pricing and features
Every company can take action to benefit women within its own operations. They also can enable and influence other companies, partners, and individuals by partnering and communicating with others in their industries and supply chains — thereby changing the broader market. By building a strong connection with families and the community, this also creates a base for future investments.
Have you ever heard of BSR? This organization alone has one goal, woman empowerment. It is a global, nonprofit organization that works with its network of more than 250 companies and other partners to build a justified and sustainable world for women.
At a BSR Conference this year, CEO Katja Iversen spoke about the importance of empowering women.
“Women are powerful. They are producers, reproducers, consumers, and voters,” Iversen said.
Following her statement, the Senior Vice President of BSR, Peder Michael Pruzan-Jorgensen, left everyone with these words:
“Women deliver. Businesses must deliver too. By investing in women, business drives growth, productivity and innovation — and creates a better world.”
Caring for one another within a company, whether it be for men or women, always guarantees better production from employees.
Feeling valued at your job is a key factor for a employee and ensures a low turnover rate with a higher success rate. Lets face it, when we’re not home, we’re at work.
As long as men and women do their part in the workplace, there’s no reason a company shouldn’t strive for empowerment and success.