I’ve done some crazy things in my lifetime—rappelling off the top of a 46-story building and pushing a race car to 150 miles per hour, to name two—but I never thought pursuing a dream could be another.
As a female who has worked in the corporate world for more than two decades and been athletic since childhood, I’ve recently been inspired by a Nike ad narrated by tennis icon Serena Williams that encourages women and girls to “Dream Crazier” and reach for the stars.
Whether in athletics or the workplace, the same philosophy holds true: Enabling women to realize their full potential is more important than ever.
In the spirit of following dreams in an environment that provides the opportunities to do so, here are six great ways to empower women in the workplace.
1. Provide mentorship for everyone: Having strong, respectful role models gives women the chance to develop leadership skills and feel confident in pursuing senior-level positions.
Create a mentorship program that provides senior-level male and female mentors for women.
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2. Aim for leadership with solid female representation: Hire women for at least 50 percent of senior-level staff.
Broaden the applicant pool of females by reassessing the requirements for leadership positions, such as 10 years of management versus 15 or including additional experience.
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3. Remove gender pay gaps: According the National Women’s Law Center, women in the U.S. who work full time, year-round are paid only 80 cents for every dollar paid to men.
Adopt a strict policy that ensures every position has a specific pay bracket.
Do not determine salary based on a person’s previous pay. Consider being transparent about salaries, which is becoming increasingly prevalent.
4. Address and eliminate harassment: The #MeToo movement has done a great deal to expose sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace and beyond.
Institute a no-tolerance policy within your company and immediately address any sexual harassment claims that are brought forward.
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5. Adopt a strict work-life balance policy: One of the biggest obstacles working mothers face in their careers is juggling family and work commitments.
Provide flexible work schedules and the option to work remotely when necessary. Consider offering comp time to make up for time spent traveling for work, particularly over weekends.
6. Create a "Bring Your Daughter to Work Day: Empower the next generation of dreamers by giving girls a chance to bond with their moms in the workplace.
It allows them to see what their parent does for a living and get an idea of their own career potential, not to mention dream big—and crazy!
Click here to watch Nike's "Dream Crazier" spot narrated by Serena Williams.
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