Offering consistent respect is the first area of importance, one that should be considered a basic human right and a mandatory condition for any interaction. Regardless of one’s title, gender, religious adherence, sexual preference, socioeconomic or political place, such respect allows for healthy boundaries of physical safety and genuine intellectual and emotional consideration of another’s contribution. I’ve found it quite natural to extend this same level of respect to everyone that I’ve worked with (including of course, women) and that this same level of respect was reciprocated. As a result we were able to create a work-life culture that supported both our personal and professional happiness. Collaborative ideas were validated and easily executed, sales and production goals were often exceeded and customer retention was increased, all resulting in greater revenue and more financial rewards for ourselves. I began with this area of respect because I am absolutely convinced that having it present counteracts and resolves many work related concerns.
The kind of fair and prioritized wisdom that values respect also leads to my next area, encouraging the acknowledgement of ideas. This definitely means more than just listening. Most of us would agree that women are generally more verbally communicative; one important aspect of this is that they tend to share more with those whom they feel particularly trusted and respected by. The reason this is of great importance in the workplace is because women are informed and active in many consumer activities with regularity on a scale that men are not, enabling them to control a large extent of our gross domestic product. A short visit to your local shopping center will attest to this obvious truth, while online retailers like eBay and Amazon are predominantly geared towards women. Given this, their creative input is a vital source of potential data and innovation only made useful when it is actually heard, validated and acted upon. Encouraging them to share their ideas will create benefit and a driven kind of unity when those ideas are acknowledged and incorporated into methods and production.
Our willingness to celebrate and reward collaborative efforts equally is the third area to consider. This creates a cultural shift recognizing and affirming the importance of men and women working together towards mutual goals. Up until recently the standard of inequality in the workplace ensured a competition between men and women that was rigged, offering a patronizing kind of encouragement that women still have not seen rewarded consistently in their paychecks. As we all recognize how our efforts are made meaningful, it’s time to really highlight our successes based on the first two areas above and transform those into changes that steadily reward women on an equal footing with men.
As technology advances, we are globally closer, resulting in greater competition in the marketplace. This also allows for information and dialogue about innovation, success and justice to be consistently shared publicly in a way that used to be more hidden, subverted and controlled. Online campaigns or reports can create a crippling boycott of a company with its head stuck in the sand regarding equality, whereas real-life success stories of companies that are embracing and visibly reaping the benefits of incorporating these three areas can create surges in growth for a business. In both the employment and consumer market, it’s easy to guess which company a woman would want to align herself with.