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Women still face unique workplace challenges such as systemic discrimination, sexual harassment, and other forms of unfair and inequitable treatment.

Since breaking into the workplace in the early 20th century, women have faced an uphill struggle to secure their rights in this space that is far from over.

For businesses interested in creating a more inclusive workplace, here are the top ways they can improve to benefit women.

Seek and Recruit New Women Hires

Although it might seem obvious, many companies with huge gender disparities in terms of numbers and hospitality to women simply don’t invest the necessary resources and energy into solving their problems of inequality – regardless of how well-intentioned.

The gender ratio matters, and correcting it should be a priority for any manager. If women remain a considerable minority in the workplace, achieving positive transformations regarding how female workers are treated is impossible.

Prioritize Eliminating Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment still affects roughly half of women who work in the United States. The issue is much more prevalent in offices with management that enables this type of behavior, or, at the very least, is lax in its enforcement of anti-harassment policies.

The work culture of any office starts at the top. If workers see that management does not tolerate the sexual harassment of any employers, aggressors are less likely to engage in that behavior and victims are more likely to assert themselves and stand up to their abusers.

Professional Development Opportunities

One of the best ways a company can help its employees – aside from providing a decent wage and benefits – is to show its commitment to their long-term development by providing ample opportunity for professional development.

This includes enrolling female staff in leadership conferences, mentoring programs, and continuing education. These investments will pay off in the long run in terms of employee retention and productivity.

Flexible Work Schedules

Due to the greater likelihood of childcare, homecare, and other burdens that all too often fall on women’s shoulders alone, companies can foster a pro-woman environment by offering greater flexibility in terms of work schedule.

The research into discrimination in the workplace shows that these specific initiatives can help shift the power balance in a beneficial direction for women to get through a difficult time as a community.