5 Things Women Want That Should Be in the Workplace

Creating an ideal workplace for women is crucial in keeping them motivated and retaining them in your company. In this article, we list must-haves that they want and need.

According to global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, women leaders are resigning from their companies at a higher rate than men leaders. Specifically, numbers from McKinsey show that in 2021, the percentage of voluntary attribution by women leaders is at 10.5%, while the percentage for men leaders is at 9%. 

Women leave due to a variety of reasons, including burnout, to raise a family, or the desire to look for a different work culture that values gender equality, and career advancement. Thus, companies need to create an ideal workplace that will motivate and keep them happy in order to retain their women leaders—or their women employees in general.

The answer? Provide concrete solutions to the reasons that cause them to leave in the first place. In particular, said solutions should target the needs that are specific to women. In this article, we list five examples of what women want that should be present in the workplace. 

Gender Parity 

Stories of female Hollywood actors having to fight for equal pay have hit the news in the last couple of years—thus highlighting the gender pay gap problem in the film industry. Sadly, this problem is not unique to Hollywood stars. Women receiving lower pay than men despite holding the same position have unfortunately become a common grievance in different industries. 

It goes without saying that women want equal pay in their workplace, but the gender parity that companies should offer must not be limited to that only.

Women also want equality when it comes to opportunities for career advancement as well as in decision-making. However, women do not want to simply benefit from affirmative action—defined by Investopedia as “a policy aimed at increasing workplace and educational opportunities for people who are underrepresented in various areas of our society.” 

Instead, they want to be given these opportunities and benefits because of their performance in their roles.

Benefits That Focus on the Biological Needs of Women

Women have certain biological experiences that are unique to them, such as menstruation and pregnancy. These, in turn, can affect their productivity and performance, and what many companies don’t realize is that they can help women in their workforce by providing benefits that target these needs. 

Menstruation, for example, can cause women to have headaches, fatigue, joint pain, and abdominal cramps, among other symptoms. For some women, these symptoms become so bad that they’re forced to file a leave from work. Companies can help women in this regard by considering paid menstrual leaves, which was recently introduced in Spain. 

Other benefits companies can offer that target women’s biological needs are those that cater to pregnant women and mothers who just gave birth. While maternity leave in the Philippines has already been extended to 105 days, companies can still offer other benefits, such as providing a safe space where mothers can breastfeed or pump.

Flexible Work Arrangements

“When women were asked to rate the importance of workplace perks and benefits, flexibility concerns rose to the top of the list,” says the Center for Creative Leadership. This probably does not come as a surprise, especially since mothers are largely depended on by their young children. 

While the COVID-19 pandemic has made it possible to have flexible work arrangements, many companies now offer work-from-home setups or hybrid schedules. However, the return to office has also highlighted the difficulties that women face in balancing their careers with the responsibilities of motherhood.

Therefore, companies should set clear boundaries that come with flexibility in work arrangements. “Without clear boundaries, flexible work can quickly turn into ‘always on’ work,” McKinsey says. “More than a third of employees feel like they need to be available for work 24/7, and almost half believe they need to work long hours to get ahead.” 

By setting clear boundaries when it comes to work hours, companies can ensure a healthy work-life balance for their employees. Companies should also reconcile flexibility with performance metrics, as many employees hesitate to ask for flexible work arrangements for fear of being perceived as lazy or unmotivated to work. 

More Women in Leadership Roles

According to a 2021 poll conducted by Monster, 58% of women will not accept a job offer at a company with no female leaders. Ironically, McKinsey notes that “For every 100 men promoted to manager, only 85 women were promoted.” 

Having more women in leadership roles is crucial in making sure that the women in a company are represented. This also makes women feel heard, as they believe women leaders with decision-making powers will make sure that their interests and concerns are not ignored. 

Introducing a Safe and Inclusive Workplace

The past few years have been an eye-opener when it comes to the harassment and dangers women may face in the workplace—as highlighted by the Me Too movement. What’s more, it highlighted how many companies have turned a blind eye to complaints from women employees.

No one wants to work for a company where they feel unsafe. This includes an environment where employees can experience discrimination, harassment, or even assault. After all, everyone—both men and women alike—wants to feel respected and even protected in the workplace. Those who feel this way tend to be happier going to work, thus performing their responsibilities well. 

This is why it is crucial for companies to ensure that their company culture fosters inclusivity and safety for women. As previously mentioned, women want to feel heard, and this can be done by having a zero-tolerance policy for sexism and harassment. Should there be such cases, companies can protect and show respect to employees by addressing such instances swiftly and fairly.