Achieving Gender Equality

men and women smiling while working together in boardroom

The Effort to Achieve Gender Equality in the Workplace

How to Support Women at Work and Promote Gender Diversity


Last month, the world celebrated International Women’s Day, a global holiday that commemorates the many achievements of women socially, culturally, and socioeconomically. As this annual event celebrates women, it also shines a light on issues like gender diversity and, more specifically, the slow progress toward achieving gender equality in the workplace. 

While progress has long been marginal, recent reports and studies are increasingly grim. McKinsey & Company found that the “early evidence suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a regressive effect on gender equality.” The challenges on women, especially working mothers, during this time have been staggering. According to the Women in the Workplace 2020 study conducted by Lean In, one in four women are contemplating leaving the workplace due to the pandemic. The Center for American Progress reported that the societal impact of mothers leaving the workforce or reducing their hours to take on more caretaking responsibilities would total $64.5 billion per year in lost wages and economic activity.

As we look ahead to what the role of women in the workplace will be in the future, we must also challenge ourselves to take steps within our own workplace environments to ensure that women do not fall even further behind. Promoting gender diversity should be an essential practice of all employers. Among the many benefits, gender-diverse environments contribute to a more stable and fulfilling workplace, lead to higher employee retention, and result in greater productivity.


Consider these ideas to promote equality in the workplace, and think about how you might implement them in your organization:

  • Challenge unconscious bias in your own role and your colleagues’ roles.
  • Maximize your talent pool with inclusive job ads.
  • Ensure that meetings are representative of both genders.
  • Mentor female colleagues for success.
  • Promote inclusive decision-making, which leads to better outcomes.
  • Advocate change for more family-friendly policies.
  • Talk to the women on your teams, listen more, and ask questions.
  • Provide additional support to critical team members such as life and career coaching.
  • Connect women to consulting and support services in your area such as the Institute for Women, Wellness, & Work at Ursuline College in Greater Cleveland.

How are you actively promoting gender equality within your organization? This is an important question for all of us to consider and constantly work toward improving. We hope our ideas serve as a starting point for your team to continue your own conversations about promoting equality and diversity in the workplace. If we can provide any support, please reach out.