Recognizing people for their efforts and showing them the company values their contributions motivates them to maximize their performance. 

Companies need to have a process to regularly recognize their people. But it is not just good enough to have a program in place. Building an equitable reward and recognition program needs to consider everyone within the organization. 

Case in point, women continue to feel they do not receive as much recognition as men in the workplace, even if they achieve more than their counterparts.

If employers want to motivate women to grow their careers within their organizations, women need to feel recognized for the work they do and should not have to work harder than men to get that recognition.  


women have to work harder to get recognition 

A recent Ipsos survey found nearly half (47%) of employed women under the age of 25 feel they have to work harder and be better than men to get recognition. 

Lack of effective recognition is negatively impacting an organization’s ability to retain top female talent. 

68% of employed women say they can see themselves continuing to work for their current employer for another three years, but only half (51%) feel motivated to achieve the next position in their career at their current employer.  

Women of colour and younger women are disproportionately less likely to stay with their current employer for three more years even though they are more likely to feel motivated to achieve the next position of their career at their current employer.

women are thriving in leadership positions

Women continue to thrive in all roles, especially in leadership even though they feel they have to work harder to be recognized for their achievements. 

The events of 2020 put extraordinary pressure on companies and employees. The COVID-19 crisis shook the economy and turned people’s lives upside down, both at work and home. The pandemic highlighted the fact that women are rising to the moment as stronger leaders. They are doing more than men in similar positions in supporting the people on their teams

For example, women have thrived when helping team members navigate work-life challenges, ensuring that their workloads are manageable, and checking in on their overall well-being. 

Women spend more time than men on equity, diversity, and inclusion work that falls outside their formal job responsibilities. They are leading the way in supporting employee resource groups and recruiting employees from underrepresented groups. 

Senior-level women are twice as likely as senior-level men to dedicate time to these tasks at least weekly. But their work is going unrecognized.

Something needs to change. 

how companies can make their workplaces more inclusive through recognition & advancement

There is a strong need for employers to reduce gender inequality in the workplace by creating cultural and organizational changes that promote diversity and inclusion. Here are some actionable ways to build an equitable reward and recognition program:

1. prioritize diversity during your recruitment process

Promoting diversity when hiring can help employers attract top industry talent. Women will be more likely to come work for an organization that recognizes them. You can prioritize diversity by writing accurate and inclusive job descriptions, sourcing a gender-diverse candidate pipeline and using skills-based assessments and structured interviews. These steps will help reduce gender bias. 

2. create fair and more personalized compensation and promotion procedures

All people should be recognized and compensated based on their merit. Creating a fair, equitable and transparent employee compensation program will help remove the gender pay gap. It should be based on the principle of equal pay for equal work, regardless of their gender.

3. promote qualified women from within. 

The promotion process needs to be clear to everyone in the organization. When it comes to promotions, only a quarter (24%) of women say they have a clear understanding of the criteria that are used for evaluation for promotion. 39% have a general sense, 20% say promotion criteria are not clear and 17% say they have no idea. 

Employers can rectify this by creating a standard set of evaluation and promotion procedures that allow hard-working women to move up the corporate ladder.

4. give women credit and celebrate their accomplishments

Women are often undervalued by others. When women and men work together on tasks, women are given less credit for successful outcomes and blamed more for failure. You can change this by 

Celebrating women’s accomplishments the same as anyone else. Make sure the women’s ideas are heard, offer direct feedback, and ensure they are equal partners. Promoting diversity and inclusion along with leadership helps boost company performance even more for women.

5. offer flexible and supportive employee benefits.

There is a push to offer more flexible and supportive employee benefits. Making work-life balance a priority in your organization helps everyone. The pandemic highlighted the need for organizations to be more adaptive and less rigid in how they do things. Offer flexible hours for everyone, not just for women and mothers. 

6. integrate skill and professional development 

Rewarding women in the workplace is much more than just recognizing them for their work. It's also about offering the same opportunities. This is equal learning, training program and development opportunities. Foster an environment of professional growth and development for everyone. 

7. provide mentorship  

Mentorship is a key driver of success, yet women can have a more challenging time finding mentors and sponsors, especially ones with influence. Create mentorship programs that can help women thrive and maximize their potential. 

what woman needs from their workplace

We need businesses that are committed to recruiting, developing, and promoting a diverse workforce while providing unique opportunities.

Employers need to be fair and transparent, but also recognize the contributions of women to retain them.

There needs to be greater transparency about practical markers such as performance standards and expectations, so everyone understands where they stand, 

This will help women to make their case successfully and trust the feedback they get. Offer Strategic support and networks mobilizing women to ensure there is equitable reward and recognition for all.