Small businesses can play a crucial role in promoting gender equality in the workplace by taking the following five actions:
1. Provide Equal Opportunities: Small businesses can ensure equal opportunities for both men and women by implementing fair hiring and promotion practices. This involves removing bias from the recruitment process, setting clear criteria for promotions, and providing training and development opportunities to employees based on their skills and potential rather than their gender.
As Executive Officer of Regional Sporting Organisation GippSport, Dan Poynton understands that to positively impact the gender imbalance on the sporting field they would need to start with their own organisation. He is incredibly proud of the work they have done to recruit and develop the women on the GippSport team. “It hasn’t been easy. We had to chase down funding and invest equitably in women to address the imbalance that is historical in the community sport sector. As a result, one of our team completed the Foundation Company Directors program, others finished the various Government funded Emerging Leader’s program and three traineeships have been established.”
2. Foster a Supportive Culture: Creating a supportive culture that values diversity and inclusion. Small businesses can encourage open dialogue, respect different perspectives and provide mentorship opportunities for employees. Promoting teamwork, collaboration and mutual respect can help break down gender stereotypes and biases in the workplace.
3. Offer Flexible Work Arrangements: Small businesses can introduce flexible work arrangements such as remote work, flexible hours or part-time options. These arrangements accommodate the diverse needs of employees, particularly women who may have additional caregiving responsibilities. Flexible work arrangements contribute to a better work-life balance and enable everyone to participate fully in the workforce.
4. Establish Inclusive Policies: Small businesses can create and implement inclusive policies that address gender equality. This includes policies related to recruitment, promotions, pay equity and work-life balance. By adopting these policies, small businesses demonstrate their commitment to creating a fair and inclusive environment for all employees.
GippSport has emerged as an organisation at the forefront of community and sport development in Victoria. They conducted a Gender Audit and wrote the Gender Equality Action plan for their peak body to lead the Regional Sport Workforce. “We are proud to be the first regional community sport organisation to do so,” says Dan Poynton, Executive Officer. This work is now being used to inform and support 10 other community sporting organisations to work and achieve gender equality targets in their organisations.
5. Provide Training and Development: Small businesses can invest in training and development programs that empower women in the workplace. This includes leadership development initiatives, mentoring programs, and workshops on negotiation skills and career advancement. By offering these opportunities, small businesses can enhance the skills and confidence of women employees, enabling them to excel in their roles.
Small businesses have the power to make a significant impact on gender equality in the workplace. By utilising these five actions, small businesses contribute to creating a more equitable and inclusive working environment for all employees.
Read more about the difference GippSport is making in gender equity ….