Promoting female leadership breaks stigma; it makes women step out of their shoes and try something new. Women are scientifically more emphatic and persuasive, which is why women have a higher chance of epitomizing what’s already good in an organization and making people go with their mission. Women leadership is especially crucial in developing communities. From food drives and donations to community gardens and educational development –community women can lead so many of these things. Here is how you can focus on gender promotion and encourage females to take part in local leadership.
A study as recent as 2021 shows that only 40% of management positions in the US are held by women. This depicts that we are in dire need of a greater inclusion of women in decision-making processes. And no, fixing quotas, insisting on hiring more women, and expecting them to show up is not enough. We need to cultivate female leadership and support them in stepping into these roles.
Here are five ways to establish gender equality in local leadership
- Improve Confidence Among Women
A large number of women are conditioned to believe that they are not good leaders. This is the reason why most of the time, they don’t want to lead even though they are practically doing it every day in their personal lives from noon to night. The thing that prevents women from taking on management positions is a lack of agency and confidence. Communities should focus on empowering women within their existing context. Use existing platforms to educate them and boost their confidence improving local leadership and women’s inclusion.
- Start Young
You cannot tell a woman that she is not a good leader all her life and suddenly chant for empowerment expecting her to transform her thinking overnight. It takes time. When you instill these kinds of beliefs in young girls, they stick and often push them inside a shell that they sometimes are never able to break.
If you want your daughter to be a leader, you should start young and keep her away from everything that brings her down. Teach her skills like effective negotiation and assertiveness. Community schools should also focus on letting young girls lead classroom and group projects. They should also educate kids on how female leadership is important for their community.
- Provide Workplace Policies for Women
If a couple decides to have a child, it’s usually the woman who faces major career setbacks. In this case, they are often met with a difficult choice between their productive and reproductive life. Organizations should introduce policies for breastfeeding and pregnant women so that they can continue their work after having a child. These policies should provide women with paid maternity leaves, breastfeeding spaces, childcare, and incentives for men to take parental leave.
- Establish a Women’s Labor Force
It is very important for communities to emotionally and physically support women to lead events and organizations. For starters, they have better multitasking and decision-making skills. And secondly, they are more persuasive and assertive. A community needs good leaders whenever there is an event, food drive, or community service program.
Communities should focus on establishing platforms where women could put their ideas forward and take charge of things. Due to their unique assertiveness, women can be better organizers and leaders.
- Recruit Women for Leadership Roles
For women to have their contribution and their voice at the table, they need to be first sitting at the table. Local companies and organizations should focus on recruiting women for local leadership roles. There are plenty of places on all levels where they can practice leadership. For instance, student-teacher forums, health care services, and governance mechanisms.
Organizations should make it a priority to have a specific number of women present at the decision-making table so that the committee can reach its final verdict with some amount of female input. These steps are essential to ensure that your kids will grow up in a community where everyone is treated equally, where your daughter is just as confident and outgoing as your son, where it is safe for women to voice their opinions, and where women finally start taking on the roles that they were made for –leaders.
These are five ways you can make women more confident to accept local leadership. If you want to make people in your community see things from a female perspective, Strake is a great app to show the struggles women go through in communities. You can also juggle ideas to improve gender inequality and make businesses more women-inclusive.