Women’s voices are still too silent in the corporate world. Here’s how Becky Frankiewicz encourages them to follow their ambitions.
There's no denying that the corporate world is dominated by men. Research shows women occupy only 33.1% of senior management positions.
Thankfully, there’s a clear trend to show that modest progress towards gender equality is in the corporate pipeline. There are incredible women out there who are making a difference and not letting anything hold them back.
And Becky Frankiewicz is a perfect example.
Frankiewicz is the President of ManpowerGroup North America. She came to this position in July 2017. Before that, she worked in several leadership roles at Quaker Foods and PepsiCo.
For one, Quaker Foods experienced incredible growth during her leadership. She contributed to the company becoming one of the most famous brands across America. Frankiewicz led the departments of finance, sales, strategy, marketing, and more.
People recognised Frankiewicz's talent in identifying consumer needs. She's brilliant at adapting quickly to changes. It is one of the reasons she made the Fast Company list of the most creative people in the industry.
Moreover, Becky Frankiewicz’s known for encouraging other women to follow in her footsteps. She wants to inspire more women to aim for leadership roles and lean in. As a mother of three daughters and a successful 25-year career, she certainly has the credentials to do so.
It’s been promising too. Studies show that the number of women entrepreneurs in America has gone up in the last 20 years.
In Frankiewicz’s opinion, one of the main imperatives in today’s corporate world is to extend this trend. It is more than possible if we empower women and make sure they’re not left behind.
You can do the same through your business.
Here are a few tips from Becky Frankiewicz if you’re now sure how.
Bringing Female Leaders to Your Company
#1 Look Beyond Financial Rewards
Financial benefits are necessary. But there's more to motivating female leaders than money.
Today, more women than ever wish to take their careers into their own hands. But they still have many challenges on this path. Putting in the emotional labour and taking care of the family isn’t so simple. Worse if a woman hopes to thrive at work.
All of this only means that flexibility is important to women, perhaps even more than money in many cases.
Your company can help if you can stir the inner motivation of workers. The new generations of workers crave challenges and consistent development. They’re looking to learn and enhance their skills every step of the way.
Also, the work environment of today blurs the line that separates work and personal lives. Employees have professional preferences on top of the personal ones.
This points to a need to include your employers’ preferences in creating the conditions at work. Research has shown that it is beneficial to both women and men. Especially the younger generations, for whom one of the primary goals is to strike a work-life balance. They want to be able to focus on their families, hobbies, and self-development as well.
#2 Create Transparent Career Plans
Sometimes, women don't advance in their careers for not knowing the opportunities at hand.
You can change that if you empower the women in your company.
Make it obvious that they can be in line for promotions. Encourage them to apply for senior positions. They will know what's in store if women are visible in a company’s leadership.
One company in particular has taken to create career plans for employees who have been on the job for 12 months. The employees can see the directions in which their career may go and plan accordingly.
Another benefit of transparent career planning is that there's no room for discrimination. Women and men have equal opportunity to advance and develop on the job and everything else.
#3 Challenge the Norm and Rethink the Systems
Are you aware of the potential challenges that women are facing in their careers? Even if you are, you may still have unconscious biases to address.
Is the system affecting women's motivation to follow their ambitions? If you analyse it, you may find room for improvement.
In this regard, certain management protocols in your company may need rethinking.
Are women getting enough opportunities to develop their skills? Is the schedule appropriate for women who have a family?
Are there enough mentors for the women who want to go far in the company?
Do your female workers know that they can climb the career ladder based on achievements?
To answer these, you will have to talk to your female employees. You can't read their minds, nor should you. Knowing what they want is much better than assuming.
If you find these conversations uncomfortable, know that it all starts with creating the right company culture. One that encourages everyone to express their ideas without fear.
#4 Commit to Inclusion
Adopting an inclusive company culture is a priority for businesses that want to succeed. Equal opportunity is just one part of it, so is the hiring practice.
The culture is something that you need to cultivate on an ongoing basis. To create a workplace where everyone is motivated to perform at their best, your employees must feel safe, valued, and heard. They should know that they're making a difference with their work. This means you should let them see the impact of their efforts.
A culture of conscious inclusion may be the most powerful of all. With conscious inclusion, everyone can take part in decision-making. No woman should feel left behind or unappreciated. That will build up your employees' desire to engage in the business. Their capacities will only increase if they're given an equal chance as everyone else.
#5 Make Work Schedules More Flexible
It may be the best time ever to test work schedules. Many companies are now familiar with remote work and may still have employees work from home at least a few days a week.
Has it paid off? According to surveys, employees feel happier and their productivity has gone up as a result.
The global healthcare company Roche is a good example. Its employees can work remotely 12 days per quarter or 48 days for the year.
The policy may be perfect for women with small children or sick parents. And not just women, almost all employees can appreciate a flexible work schedule. We've all gone through times when we needed to prioritise our private lives.
The critical element here is trust between management and employees. To pull this off, a company needs to trust that the workers can focus and complete their tasks on time anywhere. More often than not, employees will want to repay the trust and deliver.
The Future of Female Leadership
We’re all responsible for the future of female leadership.
You can help empower it by rethinking your systems. There may be aspects that unconsciously discourage women from leaning in.
It all starts with creating an environment where women can feel appreciated and heard. A company culture that focuses on more than financial incentives is one that attracts talented women. Women who feel motivated to contribute to business growth.
If you introduce flexible schedules in your company, you can get much more in return.
Above all, it's critical to be transparent from the beginning. Let the women know what their careers may look like if they stick around. Assure them that your company is a place to learn, upgrade skills, and progress based on merits.
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