Even in 2022, unfortunately, women in the workplace are disproportionately expected to handle multiple roles at work and home, despite still earning a reported 82.3% of income compared to their male colleagues. There are many opportunities for employers to support women’s mental health at work. Here are 5 simple ways to start:
1. Champion Childcare Options
The pandemic forced many women in the workplace to prioritize caregiving at home for their children as companies nationwide cut their workforces. In February 2021, women’s participation in the workforce dropped to 55%, matching rates back in April 1987. Extending bridges to adequate, consistent, and subsidized child care is one of the ways employers can show they value women returning to and thriving in the workplace.
2. Transparency Of Earnings
Women still earn less than men for doing the same job and often are stuck doing more work than their male colleagues in similar positions. By standardizing earnings for positions, being transparent about opportunities for raises, and providing clear steps required to be considered for promotions and rate increases, you can reduce stress for women in your workplace.
3. Make Pay Equity Right Before It Is Demanded Of You
Go through your employee payroll and check the pay rates of your workers to see if there are any glaring pay discrepancies between colleagues of similar positions, and increase the pay of anyone with a difference. You’ll instantly prove you value your employees and are committed to equity with the women in your workforce.
4. Be Flexible To The Unique Needs Of Your Employees
When an employee is working hard and juggling work and home stress, offering flexibility when searching for solutions is the easiest way to show you value the hard work your employees are devoting to your company. Life is still tumultuous for many families post-pandemic, and knowing you’re willing to adapt to their unique life challenges can help reduce undue stress and help your employees bring their best to every work day.
5. Don’t Solve Their Problems, Enable Their Own Solutions
Your employees want to manage their mental health, but time, money, and perception are often prioritized instead. It’s not your job as their employer to solve their very personal mental health issues and life strains. Instead, ensure your workplace doesn’t stand in the way of their attempts to manage their mental health. Are their requests for time off routinely denied? Are they constantly refusing to take days off? In both cases, you’re pushing your employees closer to burnout, which will cost your company in the long run.
When employers prioritize the wellbeing of their employees, they get the best performance from their workforce. Prioritize opportunities and initiatives that create space for the mental health management of your employees, and your company will thrive as a result. (Source)