Saturday, March 25, 2023

Women at the Forefront: How to Empower Women to Heal the Planet

Climate change is worsening. In fact, a recent United Nations report on the state of our environment claims some of the damage to the Earth may be irreversible.

But it’s not all bleak. Scientists note that there is a sliver of opportunity for us to get out of this mess. And one way to do this is to help and support the most vulnerable of society — women and girls.

You see, research shows that due to inequity, poverty and a lack of opportunities, women have been most adversely affected by climate change. And the reality is there just aren’t adequate seats at the decision-making table for women to fight for more effective solutions.

This is ironic considering how studies have shown that women leaders deal better with a crisis, including and especially on pro-environment issues and climate change.

As such, women must be empowered to be changemakers. And all of us — even business owners and direct sellers — can play our parts.

Strive for better representation

Once upon a time, equality wasn’t considered essential to business success. But not only has that notion been found to be untrue, studies now show that better representation can result in greater profits.

In terms of green efforts, business owners can ensure increased participation of women in climate-related initiatives.

Are there green-focused sales projects or marketing strategies needed for your network? Are there climate-centred social efforts the company is concentrating on?

What you ought to do is to make sure the women in your team are not only more represented in the various green-related initiatives but being heard and even leading the charge.

Nurture and support women’s leadership

Often when people talk about inequality at work, a solution that’s mooted is to recruit more women.

Yet, for true change, especially with the climate crisis, we should empower women to lead from the front.

Why? Well, it’s simple. The stats show that in comparison to men, women business leaders are not only more focused on saving the environment, their commitment also translates to tangible change.

Need proof of that? Look no further than QNET’s very own award-winning chief executive Malou Caluza, who has led countless sustainability and green efforts over the years.

Be accommodating and flexible

On the subject of facilitating leadership, it’s also important for uplines and supervisors to remember that helping women thrive entails appreciating their unique situations.

Women care deeply about the environment and want to effect positive change. Yet many working women are also mothers and wives with often more than their fair share of responsibilities.

As such, it’s crucial to accommodate them while ensuring any form of unconscious gender bias is removed from the workplace.

True, women in direct selling have more flexibility than those in 9-5 jobs. But uplines and team leaders can always strive to be more understanding of the women in their networks and their individual needs.

Support education and mentorship

Was the late Ghanaian intellectual James Emman Aggrey spot on when he said, “If you educate a man, you simply educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a whole nation”? Perhaps not entirely.

Still, what remains true is that providing equal education opportunities for women is crucial to effecting change.

For business owners and entrepreneurs, this can include ensuring that women team members are always presented with opportunities to learn and grow.

Mentoring is, of course, a big part of direct selling success. And that most vital of components can be further enhanced for women by team leaders promoting women-focused programmes on sustainability and climate efforts.

Celebrate achievements and express your support

Celebrating wins at work always motivates people to strive to be better.

Women face many hurdles in the journey to realising their career dreams. So it means so very much when not only are their views amplified by fellow women within their network, team or organisation, but that their sacrifices and successes are acknowledged too.

Personally, give them credit for jobs well done. Champion them on social media. Establish a close-knit group or squad to lean on each other for support and encouragement.

All these things will go a long way in helping capable women lead efforts towards a more sustainable planet Earth. And we will all be better for it.

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