Women are instrumental to their workplaces, even though in some places they have to fight age-old stereotypes. Regardless of not whether they are in a leadership position, women in every workplace have the potential to create a lasting impact. The following are a few ways female employees can push for change.
The Future is Intersectional
Intersectionality, a term coined decades ago by the Black philosopher Kimberlé Crenshaw, is a theoretical framework for mapping how various aspects of an individual’s social and political identities combine to incite different levels and modes of discrimination. While all women may share similar experiences of discrimination due to their gender, women who grew up poor will have faced different injustices than those who grew up in a more financially stable environment, Black women will have faced different injustices than white women, and so on. It’s become a bit of a buzzword over the past several years, but its active and sincere implementation cannot be understated. When you fight for change in the workplace, ensure that your actions are informed of a variety of needs. Are you a white woman with management that considers natural hair to be unprofessional? Are you an able-bodied woman working in a building that isn’t up to accessibility codes? Advocate for your fellow women!
Safe Environments are Flourishing Environments
Talk to your coworkers and your management about cultivating stronger systems for reporting and investigating instances of sexual harassment in the workplace. Environments where women feel safe are environments where women can flourish. If you feel uneasy about confronting management on your own, remember that there is strength in numbers; rally together your coworkers to pressure for more robust policies together.
Know Your Rights
While some workplaces may violate these dues, you’ll feel more confident in challenging a toxic work environment if you know what protections you have on your side. This idea is particularly important in terms of cracking down on sexual harassment in the workplace, as many women do not report their experiences or concerns due to fear of retaliation. Laws state, however, that your employer cannot retaliate against you simply for bringing up a complaint.
Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate
Another great benefit of familiarizing yourself with your rights is that you will be less afraid to negotiate. Advocate for yourself. You miss 100% of the shots you do not take.
Get to the Polls
Fulfill your civic duty of voting and research the candidates that show their commitment to women in the workplace. Did the candidate speak out in support of things like the #MeToo movement? Does the candidate have policies that push for paid paternal leave and fight for unions? Have they spearheaded organizations that fund women in STEM or that make receiving a college education a more accessible dream? Ask your own questions, be informed, and have your voice heard.
View this article in presentation form: