By: Ryan Ayers
Female empowerment has been a hot topic in the business community over the years. Female entrepreneurship is rising steadily, and conversations will steer toward this theme increasingly as women entrepreneurs expand their influence in the marketplace.
In fact, recent studies have shown that this trend is expanding progressively. One study found that between 2015 and 2016 alone, there was a 10 percent increase in women entrepreneurs, reducing the business owner gender gap by 5-percent. Because of this trend, analysts forecast improved economic development and employee engagement.
Diversity is important for success in business. Unequal distribution of financial opportunities has slowed economic growth. Contemporary organizations can remedy this circumstance by working toward equality in the workplace. An inclusive work environment promotes job satisfaction and confidence for female employees. This support promotes innovation and self-reliance in the workplace and may even encourage female entrepreneurship.
The following entries reveal five techniques that can empower women at work and in life.
Empowerment Innovation 1: Training for Confidence
Nancy Bocskor, an adjunct professor at The George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management, published an article in The Hill, where she discussed the importance of empowering women, stating that, “The confidence gap is real. Girls start to feel less confident than boys by age 6, according to a survey conducted by the Science Journal in 2017. It’s why training girls (and women) to have confidence, courage and the gravitas to run for office is imperative.” As a result, more women across the country are supporting each other in business and political arenas. They’re learning how to raise finances, influence decision-makers, and advocate for women’s rights.
Empowerment Innovation 2: Provide Access to Quality Health Care for All Women
Too many uninsured or underinsured mothers are vulnerable to less than ideal health care. Between the year 2000 and 2015, the maternal mortality rate (MMR) has dropped 36.6 percent around the globe, yet it has risen 16.6 percent in the United States. The United States is one of only six countries, and the only developed nation, to experience a rise in the MMR during this period. Women need accessible and affordable health care to ensure proper medical treatment. In addition, changes in operating procedures, such as taking added precautions before cesarean births, can reduce the MMR in America. To promote this outcome, health agencies and care provider organizations must make an increased effort to educate women about pregnancy health and safe abortion services, as well as effective methods to reduce the MMR.
Empowerment Innovation 3: Provide Support for Women Facing Challenges
Millions of girls and women around the world are exposed to dangerous situations and abuse. These women need resources such as counseling, education, career training, health care and small business financing to improve their circumstances and help to end a disheartening cycle of gender-based bias. This support can start in adolescence, where many young women are exposed to poverty, poor learning environments, and violence every day. Advocates, volunteers and donors can help these young ladies by volunteering for, or donating to, community organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
Empowerment Innovation 4: Ensure Safe Work Spaces
Forward-thinking, modern enterprises provide support for women who are subject to violence and abuse that can impede workplace productivity. In the workplace, these organizations enforce strict policies that prohibit these unfair behaviors. Many enterprises enforce “zero-tolerance” violence and sexual harassment policies that call for the immediate termination of offending employees. Furthermore, these organizations provide health insurance so that women who are suffering from abuse can seek help for their physical and emotional needs during this difficult time. The firms also allow for needed medical and family leave and provide enhanced security for women working late or overnight shifts.
Empowerment Innovation 5: Foster Networking Among Women
In some countries, such as South Africa, women have few safe spaces to meet and discuss important issues, such as gender equality or women’s health and rights. Rural Education and Development (READ) Global centers provide a safe place for women to gather, network and learn. The resulting social networks provide opportunities for women to effect community change and seek opportunities. Women who frequent the facilities report feeling encouraged by knowing that they are not alone in facing issues such as domestic abuse, women’s health, and parental planning. This empowerment inspires them to help other women who are facing similar problems in the community.
An investment in women is an investment in the backbone of society. Given the right support, there is a world of untapped opportunity available for women. Businesses and advocates who support women with empowering innovations give them more access to fair opportunities, allowing them to compete in the world and improve the quality of life for all of society.
By Ryan Ayers
About the author
Ryan Ayers has consulted a number of companies within multiple industries including information technology and big data. After earning his MBA in 2010, Ayers also began working with start-up companies and aspiring entrepreneurs, with a keen focus on data collection and analysis.