Increase Your Bottom Line: Hire Women

How to keep women employed and help them advance

Joi Gordon

Companies that employ more women make more money, says Joi Gordon, the CEO of Dress for Success Worldwide and a featured speaker at the 2010 Entrepreneurs Conference, coming this May 16-19, at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia.

Some might be shocked by that revelation. But employment chances increase with a college education, and statistics have shown that women make up the majority of college students and are graduating at a higher rate than men. Nevertheless, women still lag behind men when it comes to equal pay for equal work. And in some industries, women are still nonexistent.

As the recession elapses and companies expand their search for talent again, employers should consider displaced homemakers and single mothers, and start allowing some flexibility for workers with diverse needs, says Gordon, whose nonprofit organization helps disadvantaged women find jobs and stay employed.

“Women are demanding new rules of engagement in the workforce,” she says. “Businesses have started to realize the need for compromise.”

Here, Gordon gives some tips that will support this untapped workforce in the corporate world:

•    Offer flexible work schedules
•    Recognize “real life” skills as transferable to the workplace
•    Be open to female applicants who are returning to the workplace after an absence
•    Coach women to capitalize on what they do best.
•    Lead by example, from the CEO’s office down, that the company is committed to diversity

The employee and the employer are responsible for employee job retention.  Here are three things Gordon says women should do in order to keep their jobs and ascend their company’s hierarchy.

•    Be clear about the value of developing professional relationships and networking, says Gordon. Deciphering organizational culture and the unwritten rules of the workplace will play a big part in getting promotions.

•    Take risks and create your own definition of success. “Effort, passion, and fearlessness will lead to better skills, better jobs, and better lives for women,” says Gordon. Get proactive with your professional development by participating in activities and setting goals that lead to professional growth.

•    Strengthen internal relationships with senior management. “Building a career is also about … having your own personal board of directors,” says Gordon.  Find mentors who can be a source of advice and guidance for issues and problems you encounter in your daily work.

Gordon will be an expert panelist on the session The Business of Nonprofit: How to Turn “Doing Good” Into Good Business, Monday afternoon, May 17, at the 2010 Entrepreneurs Conference. Click here For more information about the Entrepreneurs Conference.

Resources:
20 Leading Occupations of Employed Women
Gender, Change, and Starting Salaries of College Graduates
Women of Power Summit

ACROSS THE WEB
  • P.Alan Wesley

    What about the Black Men? We need help too