Demographic Trend: Women Are Changing the Workforce

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Image via Harvard Business Review

Image via Harvard Business Review

As seen in my infographic, women are shifting both workplace and household dynamics. Here are three statistics that show how:

Women’s lives are changing, according to an ongoing NPR series. Unfortunately, paycheck size is one area where there is little change, with women often earning 75% of what men earn. This inequality has spurred many women in the U.S. to leave corporate jobs and start their own business.

What’s Causing These Trends?

There are four micro-trends that weave together into one giant trend. Those micro-trends include:

  • Filling gaps in other industries. Women are finding more work within the services industry and jobs that men have traditionally filled.

  • Reversal of roles at home. Fathers are beginning to stay at home more. Policies are becoming more flexible and broader to allow mothers and fathers to take time off.

  • Postponed marriage. Women are marrying later in life as they have more career and education opportunities.

  • Embracing independence. It’s long been known that women make most of the purchasing decisions within families; as single women, they are starting to make larger, more invested purchasing decisions as well.

The Workplace: How to Create An Environment Attractive to Women

Knowing these four micro-trends, how do you create a workplace environment that embraces these shifting dynamics and positively impacts men, women and families? Flexibility and diversity are vitally important. How balanced is your workforce? Here are some tips to help your organization move forward:

  1. Attract women to your workplace. Women are finding more jobs in the service sector; are they finding them where you work? If you aren’t attracting women to apply within your sector, you may have a serious gap in the future. Even auto mechanics in Nigeria are embracing women. What are you doing?

  2. Evolve your family leave policies. Some workplace policies are woefully inadequate. With women receiving little leave time, it’s no wonder they are leaving corporate jobs for other options. Now that fathers are beginning to stay at home as well, both parents should have the option to receive appropriate leave time. Are your policies balanced toward both men and women?

  3. Offer career-pathing. Women are thinking about their career long-term, whether they’re married or not.  Do you offer career pathing? Are women able to see a future for themselves in your workplace?

  4. Offer real information. How you can you alter your message to provide a real service to women? They need information and advice on how to purchase homes, make investment decisions, be a single parent, and more. The bottom-line is to be aware of these trends and offer real help.

As you can imagine, workforce trends are not isolated. Workplace diversity and generations in the workplace also impact women in the workforce. Women, how are these trends affecting you? How has your life changed at work? Leave me a comment below, tweet or email. To learn more about workplace trends, sign up for my newsletter or follow me on twitter.

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