Women’s Voices Make Businesses Better
Years ago, women who wanted to be taken seriously in the business world had to assume the characteristics of a man in a male-dominated world. They dressed in dark suits, spoke in deep voices, took aggressive and assertive stances in the boardroom and in negotiations, and showed little to no emotion. How ridiculous, if not unnatural, to be forced to downplay one’s gender.
Despite the huge strides women have made in business, politics, entertainment and the arts over the past decades, we still have a long way to go before they are fully integrated and celebrated in the American workforce. It starts with highlighting and emulating the unique qualities and traits that have enabled women to succeed — the attributes that set them apart from their male counterparts.
Businesses that want to be successful must not only hire and promote women; they must listen to and learn from them. When women are fully included in business, everybody succeeds.
Don’t hire blindly
To truly be successful, businesses should bring more women into the fold at all levels. Recruiting and hiring processes should ensure that gender is not a factor, either explicitly or subliminally. Application questions should be written in a way that doesn’t identify gender, and recruiting should be done through diverse channels, not just through the “old boys’ network.”
That being said, there is no such thing as blind or unbiased hiring. Even if we believe ourselves to be fair and open-minded, we are all shaped and shadowed by our backgrounds and experiences. So let’s take the blinders off.