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International Women's Day: Why you need to amplify female voices in the workplace to make organisational change stick

Women ask 30% more career-related questions than men when they have psychological safety at work. Read more insights on women for International Women's Day.

8 Mar 2023 | 3 min read

According to Rungway user data, women ask 30% more career-related questions than men, post 40% more about workplace culture and they take twice as long to write a post. This shows us two things; 1) women feel much more comfortable asking these types of questions and voicing their honest opinions in an anonymous forum, and 2) women are more considerate around their language and how they might be perceived, even if those posts are anonymous.

Psychological safety is a crucial tool in amplifying female voices, and these voices can be a crucial tool in making organisational change stick. In the Asia Pacific region, 100% of questions on Rungway were asked anonymously - imagine how many insights, concerns and ideas organisations would miss out on without anonymity? Having a safe space to speak up helps to amplify quieter voices, and those quieter voices are instrumental in helping leaders surface useful data and steer successful change.

This means that leaders must take greater care to amplify female voices in their organisations. Our data shows that women are drivers of community and connection when given a space to push more personal discussions. Women are 50% more likely to post about wellbeing than men and are twice as likely to use language seeking connection on this topic. For example, they'll use phrases such as "does anyone else feel the same" or "can anyone help me with...". These connections can help others feel more comfortable in voicing their opinions, which in turn provides more unfiltered data for leaders to learn from and implement in change strategies.

how hearing authentic feedback results in faster action

An employee in a FTSE 100 company raised a request around providing sanitary products in the office toilets. This sparked a wider discussion around women dealing with periods in the workplace, with male colleagues and leaders joining in to be educated. To them it had given them an insight into some of the day-to-day issues their colleagues face. Free sanitary products were provided shortly afterwards creating an increased sense of openness in their culture.

This example may sound trivial, but it perfectly represents how amplifying female voices resulted in new conversations and deeper understanding and connection within the organisation. This conversation was visible to everyone, turning a “taboo” subject into a very normalised discussion sparking empathy and curiosity. 

Through psychological safety, maybe your organisation could also make a small but positive change impacting nearly half your workforce in just one day? Acting fast on small change is key to building trust and buy-in ahead of future larger organisational change.

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Employees that feel valued are more likely to support change within an organisation, which increases the likelihood of that change being successful. As McKinsey & Company report, change is 30% more likely to stick if people are truly invested in it.

It should be a priority in any organisation to amplify female voices at every level. It helps them feel more valued and improves their wellbeing at work, but it’s also true that employee wellbeing and change advocacy are intertwined. Improving inclusivity is one of the first steps to improving workplace culture, and improving workplace culture is a key step in fostering support for organisational change.



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