An entrepreneur is a person who creates something new and assumes the risks and rewards associated with that innovation. S/He gets profit as his reward for bearing risks. Women are handicapped in the current centralized wholesale market set-up controlled by men. Though, Money does not come as the first motivating factor for women entrepreneurs.
(a) Make mentoring a must.
Provide opportunities for women to align themselves with a corporate leader who can coach them, guide them, and then help them professionally. This demonstrates your seriousness when it comes to the growth of your female workforce.
(b) Leverage the power of a personal sponsor.
Some woman will advance faster and stronger with a sponsorship, especially when they’ve proven themselves but still are stuck. Sponsors can go to bat for them and advocate for their advancement within the company.
(c) Put some creativity into rewards.
When a female employee truly goes above and beyond, a cash bonus may not always be the best way to recognize the achievement. Keep in mind the value of a day off with pay to allow them time to catch, upon personal enjoyments, attend a family event or deal with home responsibilities.
(d) Give them choice in leading a project.
In male-dominated departments, it is easy to draw on the same 10 people or the typical “go to” person for leading a project or completing an important task. Consider bringing in a woman-employee for this initiative to give them an opportunity to stretch and grow. Trust them.
(e) Lifelong learning is all investment.
Most companies have educational reimbursement plans for formal, long-term programs. But many women are single-parents or caretakers for elderly parents and that type of commitment is too cumbersome. Consider offering 1 to 2-day skill development programs and allow your female employees the chance to hone those everyday skills needed to grow on the job.
(f) Highlight the female “leaders” who have no title.
Tafur reminds us that females still tend to be the primary gender for secretary, executive assistant and administrator roles. These roles continue to be the lifeblood of an organization and are run by the quiet troopers who keep everything moving like clockwork. Make time to honour them formally with their peers and privately too.
(g) Pay attention to expressing appreciation.
Often women tend to do a better job of expressing appreciation and they also like to receive spoken and written forms of acknowledgement more often than men. Stop and give frequent and specific thanks throughout the day or in every stage of a project roll-out.
(h) Check how they want to be listened to.
When a woman shares a problem check in to see if they just want to vent or whether they want your involvement. Men like to fix shared problems but sometimes women just want to verbalize things to feel better.
(i) Show consistent respect and courtesy.
During Tafur’s mentor-training, she stresses that the one-time lunch and flowers from a boss on annual administrative assistant days don’t mean anything unless it is accompanied by ongoing appreciation. Make sure your managers and supervisors understand the value of day-to-day recognition and are appropriately trained in expressing genuine respect for work and effort all year long.
(j) Reward equally and fairly.
If there is one thing that irritates anyone, male or female, is seeing someone receive a pay raise, an award, or some form of recognition when they felt deserving too. Tafur recommends that all organizations take the time to establish clear quantitative criteria and measures that are used to evaluate the performance and distribution of rewards.