It’s true that women have consistently struggled to reach upper-level management positions as quickly as men – an imbalance which has particularly affected the marketing and communications industries. Advertising agencies have long been viewed as a “boys’ club”, with women often being paid less, being afforded less opportunity and holding fewer leadership positions.
At Markstein, we’re extremely proud to be a woman-owned business and have a significant number of female team members in leadership positions. Having a balance of perspectives is critical to making good decisions. Our team includes people from different backgrounds, experiences and points of view – all of which contribute to our company’s success.
Balance is hard to achieve, and it’s a bit of a tug of war – sometimes it leans more one way than another – but it’s a worthy endeavor to fight for. Change for the better – balance for better as is this year’s International Women’s Day theme – is critical for a more empathetic, collaborative and productive environment.
While perfection is impossible to achieve, Markstein is taking steps to achieve balance. We’ll never be perfect, but we can strive for it, as can you. Here are a few initial steps to help you achieve balance in your workplace:
Listen to your team
Everyone wants to be heard – so hear them. As a leader, it’s your job to slow down and pay attention to the needs of your team. This may mean you need to evolve your benefits, processes, culture or business offerings, but if it means your team is happier and more productive, the company is better off. A team is made up of people, and they are essential parts of your culture and business success.
Be open to ideas from everyone
No matter the age, title, experience or background, everyone can contribute ideas. At this agency, it is important to us that everyone has a seat at the table, because everyone, and every idea, is valuable. Leaders who value and recognize ideas from all levels of the organization will reap the rewards.
Embrace cultural values
Every organization has a cultural DNA – it may be strong, weak, or somewhere in between, but it exists. In order to sustain and grow positive culture (or begin to change negative culture), you must start by identifying the values of your organization. Including balance – or values that yield balance, such as respect and empathy – is a critical first step. After identifying your values, you must be committed to infusing these values into your culture.
When our businesses are balanced, it brings our professional world closer to finding equilibrium. This benefits each and every one of us. It’s how our lives become more diverse, energized and fulfilled. Today and every day, I encourage you to strive for balance. After all: it contributes to a better work life for all of us.