So often, managers don’t see the value in hiring, promoting, and retaining women. They believe women will just quit anyway once they become mothers, or that female workers are easily replaced. They don’t understand the importance of women in their organizations, often because they don’t measure the cost of losing them.
But here’s what the authors of Half the Sky have found (and what I believe as well): A nation can only progress as fast as its women. Nations that abuse, mistreat, ignore, and marginalize women are, not coincidentally, some of the poorest nations in the world.
The same holds true for companies. Employers that hire, retain, and promote women do better than those that don’t. Why is that?
- It’s cheaper to create a family-friendly environment than constantly keep re-hiring and re-training new employees to replace the ones that quit.
- Employees whose employers accommodate their personal lives are happier. Therefore, they do better work.
- The skills required for parenthood (multi-tasking, conflict resolution, patience, negotiation, etc.) are assets to an organization.
- Women are as talented, creative, and smart as men. If you deprive women of the opportunity to innovate, your organization will miss out.
- Women are responsible for 80% of household purchasing decisions. Who knows better how to create products and services women will buy than other women?
Mothers who stay home have very little support from American society in their work. What’s more, they rarely stay home forever. When they return to work, they often have difficulty finding flexible work, getting promoted, and even getting hired.
But if we stopped punishing women for taking care of their families, what would happen then? How would this affect women, their families, their workplaces, and their societies?
Let’s hope we find out soon.