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With Women's Day tomorrow, use these three tips to empower women and achieve employment equity

by , 08 August 2014
Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer at Facebook. Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany. Janet Yellen, the chair of the US Federal Reserve. Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund. These leading women are proof that women can get to the top and are more than capable of performing efficiently.

Sadly, in South Africa, women are still under-represented in high profile positions compared to their male counterparts. Transformation is happening at a snail's pace.

It's time to change this. Women are more than capable of performing and you must empower them to achieve employment equity in your workplace. It's what the Employment Equity Act (EE Act) requires you to do. Here are three tips you can use to do this.

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The 2014 Employment Equity Report found there are still too few women in top jobs

The skillsportal reports that while there's been progress over the past few years, the advancement of women into top jobs remains slow.

According to the site, a 2014 Employment Equity Report found that the number of women in top management increased from 14% in 2003 to 21% in 2013. Women in senior management increased from 22% to 30% over the same period, while professionals increased from 36% to 43%, and skilled workers from 44% to 47%.

These figures show that companies aren't doing enough to empower women and achieve employment equity. It also shows that businesses aren't complying with the EE Act.

Don't make the same mistake.

Empower women and achieve employment equity by using these three tips

Tip #1: In this article, experts behind the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service say you can empower women just by being fair when you award increases and bonuses.

'You must account for any income difference amongst employees in the same position. If you pay women less than men for the same job, you'll violate the Employment Equity Act.'

The experts add that you must train and educate your employees on the importance of the EE Act.


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Two more tips to empower women and achieve employment equity

Tip #2: Provide training for women in your workplace. You mustn't leave women out when it comes to learning and training programmes.

This will help them grow and reach their full potential. It means your company will grow and have high performing employees.

Tip #3: Be more accommodating when it comes to maternity leave.

Our labour laws require you to give your female employees four months' maternity leave.

You must make this a priority and be more accommodating to pregnant employees before and after the birth of their babies.

Writer, Ashley McGuire sums it up nicely when she says, 'no woman should ever have to choose between putting food on the table and spending time recovering and bonding with her newborn child.'

So don't make women feel as if they must choose between their careers and motherhood. Don't overlook them when it comes to promotions because they're mothers. Empower them by telling them about their maternity leave entitlement and tell them they can have a flourishing career and still be great mothers.

There you have it. Comply with the Employment Equity Act and achieve employment equity by empowering women in your workplace. It's your duty this Women's Day and every day.

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