What Women Want from her Workplace
Women have been in the white-collar workforce for quite some time now, and needless to say, they have certain expectations from their workplace to ensure their safety, satisfaction and fulfillment. Their holistic approach to work-life balance can be maintained only with due cooperation from their bosses and colleagues.
Established in 1956, Business and Professional Women’s (BPW) Foundation was the first foundation dedicated to conducting research and providing information solely about working women. According to its research findings, almost three-quarters (74%) of modern-day working women believe that work can be enjoyable and meaningful. 59% equate work with making a difference and 49% of them perceive it as an integral part of life. Only 3% of them describe work as drudgery. In such a scenario, it is absolutely necessary that their expectations are met in order for them to be fully productive in their job.
A woman wants to be viewed as an individual with a mind of her own in her workplace. She does not expect to be looked as a specimen, a representative, or a spokesperson for all working women. There can be occasions when a woman is the only woman in a management meeting, sales meeting, or a business trip. In such circumstances, she should be treated at par with the others in the team, and not made to feel like an exclusive being. The workplace expectations of a modern working-woman differ by nature of occupation and compensation. For her to deliver her best work, she needs to have a clear delineation of her goals, open communication channels, encouragement from co-workers and supervisors, having her voice heard, and understanding roles and responsibilities. Every deserving woman of this century expects a manager that she can respect and learn from, working with people whom she is comfortable with, a favourable work-life balance, a short commute, working for a socially responsible company, a conducive office space, and working with state-of-the-art technology. Their inputs should be valued and appreciated.
She should not be underestimated or her efficiency be questioned/belittled. Being equally well-qualified and proficient in her work as their male counterparts, she naturally expects her dignity and self-respect to be safeguarded. Certain other more concrete factors such as health insurance, paid leave, retirement programs, professional developments are also important for her to feel secure in her workplace. In particular cases such as married working-women, she lays more stress on flexibility of working hours, maternity leave, and the likes. In general, women want new challenges at work, promotion, increased pay with increased responsibilities. They usually look for jobs that align with their strengths and personality traits. They are keen to develop open communication with their manager or supervisor, and actively seek out opportunities for training and education, apart from receiving guidance from older colleagues.
Certain personal issues also put off women in her workplace, such as being asked about her family, how she handles her domestic front, when she plans to have a baby, and so on. It indeed lands them into an unpleasant situation as they are neither able to tolerate the probing and prying nor are they able to voice their displeasure. Such unreasonable curiosity should be restrained so that her privacy is honorably retained.
To put it in a nutshell, if adequate care is taken to fulfill the expectations of women in her workplace, she can explore and exploit the dimensions of her caliber to the fullest.