Changing company culture to be more inclusive of women: what's worked for your business?
I'm working on an article around women in the workplace, and wondering if anyone has any examples of how their company underwent a shift in culture to make women feel more included/equal? If so, what exactly happened to bring about that change?
Such a great question! Am following to see what has worked successfully for others!
I know we started with just hiring more women. First, the founders hiring women in senior leadership roles and 2; those women being allowed to really deal with it openly. Our Ops Director wrote about taking bias out of hiring here https://outshine.com/posts/breaking-down-bias-amp-building-a-better-outshine
Listening carefully. Making it possible for employees to speak anonymously to a digital assistant that takes immediate action, 24/7/365. Facilitating live, anonymous 1:1 conversations between leadership and employees. It's AMAZING what people will share when they feel safe.
Hi Carolyn, I completely agree with you! I think most leaders ask for feedback but don’t provide a safe environment to truly get honest answers or even if they do get them, don’t do the appropriate follow ups. I just read your profile - let me know if you are still looking for feedback on your product. I looked at your website and it sounds really interesting - would be happy to help!
@TanyaKhan - Thank you so much for the kind words! I would love your feedback. I will look for your contact info. :)
Truthfully, it was because I made it a priority and pushed others to make it a priority as well. I'm privileged in that I'm a CoFounder & member of the Exec team, so I have way more leverage here than many others to push for more inclusion and forcing acknowledgement of where we can do better by being very & consistently vocal about it. It wasn't easy since we were a super early-stage startup and the focus was first on getting whoever we could to join the company, but I always pushed for hitting gender parity as we continued to scale from 6 people (4m v 2w) to 30 (we successfully hit parity last year - yay!) as well as developing a habit of routinely calling on people within meetings to ask any questions or provide their opinions/thoughts regardless of whether they're usually vocal or not, as a way to start ingraining a culture across leadership to pay attention to all voices in the room instead of just the ones who naturally speak up. So far it's paid off, as even our male leaders are now consistently following this trend as well. 4 of the last 6 hires we made were women and all hires came from male leaders w/o any prompting or DEI pushes in place, which is an awesome trend that will hopefully continue as more and more folks join the company.Always still more to do, but it's certainly an exciting start!