Providing Sufficient Space for Women is Not Only a Gender issue but also addresses business issues

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Currently, the female labor force participation rate is still 30 percent lower than men. Women earn an average of 25 percent less than men.

That exists because there are gender norms that still apply in society and companies, such as:

  1. Women's primary role is perceived as a carer for children and family members, homemaker.
  2. Men's perceived role as primary income earner/provider for the family.
  3. The perception that certain job types are more suitable for women and others for men, leading to occupational segregation.
  4. Perceptions of women are better in supportive roles and men as better leaders.

In addition to continuing to encourage changes in people's perspectives on gender norms, companies can also overcome these problems by changing or building policies and practices using a gender lens so that women can develop themselves.

"Providing sufficient space for women is not only about gender issues but also addresses business issues. The data shows that providing space for women must be done immediately by the company because it is related to the company's performance. By the increasing presence of female leaders, will improve the company's performance," said Emma Sri Martini, Chair of IV Srikandi BUMN / Finance Director of PT Pertamina (Persero) on Women Empowerment at the Workplace event held by the University of Indonesia - Women Friendly Campus (21/04/2021).

The Impact of Women's Leadership on Organizational Health according to McKinsey (2021):

Stronger Organization Health

Provide a healthier work environment. Women have several natural traits, such as empathy and caring, so they can treat team members and customers better.

Broader Leadership Capabilities. 

Policies will be developed more harmoniously to support and create a more conducive environment for the various support systems. So that companies get and retain the best talents.

Improved Decision Making.

Decision-making is made between the thinking, rational, paradigm of female leaders and male leaders, where the result can be combined and compromised to make comprehensive decisions based on various aspects.

Improved Corporate Governance.

There is a national outcome in this regard, where the organization loses women at every level. The higher the position, the smaller the percentage of women. With the presence of female leaders, it is hoped that they can build better corporate governance based on their perspectives and experiences to increase the percentage of women.

How is women leadership considered capable?

"Women face many obstacles when they become leaders, one of which is double-bind. While leadership has always been associated with masculinity, many female leaders have adopted masculine traits to be recognized in 'boys clubs'. But then women are considered cruel when men are considered assertive. Women who adopt a masculine character in terms of leadership, the impact is not always good, ”explained Maya Juwita, Executive Director of IBCWE.

Then how can women live it?

The first thing to do is accept yourself, what can and cannot be done. Take advantage of feminine traits to become a better leader. This pandemic situation shows that the world needs leaders who have deeper empathy to lead organizations, which is a naturally feminine trait of women.

Companies also need to overcome gender stereotypes and gender bias companies that can result in job separation and limited opportunities for women to reach leadership positions because there are still many female workers who have the opportunity to occupy the highest positions in an organization but they do not achieve it due to reasons outside of qualification.

Keep in mind, the more women leaders, the better the company's performance, both directly and indirectly.

24 April 2021 / Tiara Tri Hapsari