The following blog is part of HRPA’s International Women’s Day (IWD) feature. This year’s IWD theme is Inspiring Inclusion. We asked HR experts to explore a few ways HR professionals and employers can create workplaces that include and empower women. Explore with HR expert, Julia Salvalaggio, the importance of advancing women’s leadership for the inclusion of women in the workplace. Read more about 5 Ways to Inspire [Women’s] Inclusion here.

By: Julia Salvalaggio, CHRL, MacLean Engineering

According to stats, men apply for jobs when they meet 60% of the hiring criteria, while women wait until we meet 100% of the criteria. What can HR/ organizations do to encourage more women to go for leadership roles? Organizations can drive change by acknowledging these barriers exist and addressing them at a basic level. Women benefit from personal development planning to map career pathways and articulate specific criteria for achievement. In fact, according to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, “if the pace of women being promoted into management continues as it is Canada won’t reach gender parity until 2129. Sitting at 16th in a list of 37, Canada falls behind the U.S. (4th), Mexico (7th), Ireland and France (9th, 10th).”

Women have historically been conditioned to shy away leadership roles and from appearing overly confident in the workplace. However, it is crucial that this fear of arrogance does not hinder women from pursuing leadership roles where they possess the necessary potential and skills to excel.

When posting advancement opportunities, it is essential to:

  1. Carefully review job postings and only include credentials that are fundamentally required
  2. Consider incorporating language that highlights qualifications that are ‘equivalent to’ or examples of ‘transferrable skills’ to provide a more inclusive approach.
  3. Additionally, take the time to engage with your high potential female employees to discuss their career aspirations and support them in pursuing new opportunities for growth within the organization. Leaders must be proactive in welcoming women into leadership roles.

By creating a more open and encouraging environment, we can empower women to step into leadership roles with confidence and success.

Read more about 5 Ways to Inspire [Women’s] Inclusion here
Read more about the No gender parity until 2129 article here