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Empowering Women on Projects: Strategies for Inclusive Team Building 

 February 26, 2024

Written by Yemisi Iyilade, Project Management Consultant, Scientist & Innovation Expert.

Are you looking for ways to empower women on your projects? As a project or business leader, it’s important to consider best practices and engagement strategies that are considerate of family stressful life and trauma experiences. Empowering women not only benefits them, but it also benefits your team and the project as a whole.

One of the best ways to empower women on your projects is to provide tools and resources that can help them succeed. This can include mentorship programs, training sessions, and resources for work-life balance. By providing these resources, you can help your team members build their skills and confidence, which can lead to better project outcomes.

It’s also important to create a culture of support and inclusivity. This means being aware of the challenges that women may face, such as family responsibilities or past trauma experiences, and being flexible and accommodating when possible. By creating a safe and supportive environment, you can help your team members feel valued and empowered to contribute their best work.

There are several best practices that project or business leaders can follow to ensure that their team is successful. In this article we will look at a few key strategies you can use.

Empowering women on projects

Consideration of Family and Trauma Experiences

When working with a team of women, it is important to consider their family and trauma experiences. Many women may have experienced trauma in their lives, which can impact their work and personal lives. As a project or business leader, it is important to be aware of this and provide support and resources to help them overcome these challenges.

Remember that women often have unique family and trauma experiences that can impact their ability to participate fully in a project. Being aware of these challenges, will help you build flexible in accommodating them. This might mean offering flexible work hours or allowing team members to work from home when necessary. By being understanding and supportive, you can help your team members feel valued and empowered.

One way to support your team is by creating a social support network. Encourage team members to connect with each other and share their experiences. This can help build trust and create a sense of community among team members. You can also provide resources such as counseling services or support groups to help team members deal with trauma and stress.

It is also important to be aware of the continuum of care when working with women who have experienced trauma. This means providing ongoing support and resources to help them through the healing process. This can include regular check-ins, access to counseling services, and providing a safe and supportive work environment.

When setting goals for your team, it is important to be realistic and considerate of their personal lives. Many women may have family responsibilities such as caring for children or elderly family members. By being flexible and accommodating, you can help them balance their work and personal lives.

In cases of violence or abuse, it is important to provide a safe and supportive work environment. This can include implementing safety protocols and providing resources such as counseling services and legal support.

Inclusion Engagement Strategies

As a project or business leader, it is important to empower women in the workplace by providing them with the necessary tools and resources to succeed. Here are two engagement strategies that can help build a successful team of women: Mentorship and Coaching, and Equal Representation and Participation.

Mentorship and Coaching

Mentorship and coaching programs can help women develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their careers. By pairing women with experienced mentors or coaches, you can provide them with guidance and support that can help them navigate challenges and overcome obstacles.

Mentorship and coaching programs can also help women build their networks and establish connections with other professionals in their field. This can be especially important for women who may not have access to the same opportunities as their male counterparts.

To implement a successful mentorship or coaching program, you need to provide training and support for both mentors and mentees. This can include resources such as training materials, guidelines for communication, and regular check-ins to ensure that the program is meeting the needs of both parties.

Equal Representation and Participation

Equal representation and participation are essential for creating a workplace culture that empowers women. This means ensuring that women have a seat at the table and are included in decision-making processes.

To promote equal representation and participation, consider implementing policies such as:

  • Ensuring that women are represented in leadership positions
  • Encouraging women to participate in meetings and other decision-making processes
  • Providing opportunities for women to share their ideas and perspectives
  • Ensuring that women are paid fairly and have access to the same benefits and opportunities as their male counterparts

By promoting equal representation and participation, you can help create a workplace culture that values diversity and promotes inclusivity.

mentorship and coaching

Summary

Engagement is key to empowering women on projects. One effective strategy is mentorship. By pairing team members with experienced mentors, you can help them develop new skills and gain confidence. It’s also important to create a supportive and inclusive work environment where everyone feels valued and heard. This might involve regular team meetings, open communication channels, and opportunities for team members to provide feedback and input.

Another important strategy is providing access to tools and resources that can help team members succeed. This might include high-quality education and training programs, health care benefits, and resources for dealing with trauma or stress. By providing these resources, you can help your team members overcome challenges and stay focused on their goals.

In addition to these strategies, it’s important to be committed to social change and to work actively to combat discrimination and gender bias. This might involve making a conscious effort to include diverse perspectives in decision making, or actively working to address issues like gender-based violence and abuse.

Tools and Resources for Building an Empowered Team

As a project or business leader, you have the power to create an inclusive and empowering environment for your team. By providing the right resources and leadership strategies, you can help your team members overcome any challenges they may face, including family stressful life and trauma experiences. Here are some tools and resources that can help you build an empowered team:

Leadership Strategies

As a leader, you need to be aware of your own biases and work to create a culture of inclusivity and empowerment. Here are some leadership strategies that can help you achieve this:

  • Active Listening: When you actively listen to your team members, you show that you value their opinions and ideas. This can help build trust and create a more collaborative environment.
  • Clear Communication: Clear communication is essential for building an empowered team. Make sure that your team members understand their roles and responsibilities, and that they feel comfortable asking questions and providing feedback.
  • Empowerment: Empower your team members by giving them autonomy and decision-making power. This can help build their confidence and sense of ownership over their work.

Consultation and Collaboration

Consultation and collaboration are essential strategies for empowering women on your team. By actively seeking input from women on your team and engaging them in decision-making processes, you can help ensure that their voices are heard and that their perspectives are valued. This can also help to create a sense of ownership and investment in the project or business, leading to increased engagement and commitment from your female team members.

To effectively consult and collaborate with women on your team, consider the following best practices:

  • Schedule regular check-ins and one-on-one meetings to discuss progress, challenges, and feedback.
  • Encourage open and honest communication by creating a safe and non-judgmental space for women to share their thoughts and ideas.
  • Actively listen to women’s perspectives and incorporate their feedback into decision-making processes.
  • Be flexible and adaptable to accommodate the unique needs and schedules of women on your team, particularly those with family or stressful life experiences.

Employee Engagement and Commitment

Employee engagement and commitment are critical factors in building a successful and empowered team. By fostering a culture of engagement and commitment, you can help ensure that women on your team feel valued, supported, and motivated to contribute to the project or business.

To promote employee engagement and commitment, consider the following best practices:

  • Recognize and celebrate the contributions of women on your team, both individually and as a group.
  • Provide opportunities for professional development and growth, such as training, mentorship, or leadership programs.
  • Offer flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting or flexible schedules, to accommodate the needs of women with family or stressful life experiences.
  • Foster a sense of community and belonging by organizing team-building activities or social events.

Power and Resources

To empower women on projects, it is important to provide them with access to power and resources. This includes access to high-quality education and healthcare, justice, and assets. By providing these resources, you can help women overcome family stress and trauma experiences and build a strong team. Here are some best practices and engagement strategies to help you build your team:

Access to High-Quality Education and Healthcare

One of the best ways to empower women is to provide them with access to high-quality education and healthcare. This can help women develop the skills they need to succeed in their careers and ensure that they are healthy and able to work. Here are some tools and resources you can use to help your team:

  • Offer training and development programs to help women develop new skills.
  • Provide access to online courses and resources to help women learn new skills.
  • Offer health insurance and wellness programs to help women stay healthy.

Justice and Assets

Another important resource for women is access to justice and assets. This can help women feel safe and secure in their work environment and ensure that they have the resources they need to succeed. Here are some best practices and engagement strategies to help you provide justice and assets to your team:

  • Create a safe and inclusive work environment where women feel comfortable reporting any issues.
  • Provide access to legal resources to help women protect their rights.
  • Offer financial planning resources to help women build their assets.

Summary

Providing your team members with the right resources can help them overcome any challenges they may face, including family stressful life and trauma experiences. Here are some resources that can help you build an empowered team:

  • Flexible Work Arrangements: Offering flexible work arrangements, such as remote work or flexible hours, can help your team members balance their work and personal lives.
  • Mental Health Resources: Providing mental health resources, such as counseling services or mental health days, can help your team members manage any stress or trauma they may be experiencing.
  • Professional Development: Providing opportunities for professional development, such as training or mentorship programs, can help your team members build their skills and advance their careers.

By implementing these tools and resources, you can help build an empowered team that is equipped to overcome any challenges they may face. Remember that creating an inclusive and empowering environment is an ongoing process, and it requires a commitment to continuous improvement and growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can project leaders support team members with family responsibilities?

As a project leader, you can support team members with family responsibilities by offering flexible work arrangements. This could include allowing team members to work from home or adjusting their work schedule to accommodate their family responsibilities. Additionally, providing resources such as childcare services, parental leave, or family-friendly policies can help support team members with family responsibilities.

What resources are available to help project leaders empower women on projects?

There are several resources available to help project leaders empower women on projects. For instance, organizations such as the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) offer resources and support for women in business. Additionally, training programs such as the Women’s Business Center and the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) can provide project leaders with tools and resources to help empower women on projects.

What are some effective engagement strategies for women on projects?

Effective engagement strategies for women on projects include creating a supportive and inclusive work environment, providing opportunities for professional development, and offering mentorship and networking opportunities. Additionally, recognizing and celebrating the contributions of women on the project team can help boost engagement and motivation.

How can project leaders create a trauma-informed approach?

To create a trauma-informed approach, project leaders should prioritize safety, trust, choice, and collaboration. This involves creating a safe and supportive work environment, building trust with team members, providing choices and options for team members, and collaborating with team members to create a supportive and inclusive workplace.

What are the key principles of trauma-informed care for project leaders?

The key principles of trauma-informed care for project leaders include safety, trustworthiness, choice, collaboration, and empowerment. These principles prioritize creating a safe and supportive work environment, building trust with team members, providing choices and options for team members, collaborating with team members, and empowering team members to take charge of their own healing and recovery.

What are some best practices for addressing trauma in the workplace?

Some best practices for addressing trauma in the workplace include providing trauma-informed training for all team members, creating a safe and supportive work environment, offering counseling and support services for team members who have experienced trauma, and developing policies and procedures that prioritize the safety and well-being of all team members. Additionally, creating a culture of openness and support can help team members feel comfortable discussing their experiences and seeking help if needed.

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Yemisi Iyilade


Yemisi Iyilade is a Project Management Professional, PMP and Maxwell Leadership Coach and Trainer. She has worked in the environmental, nonprofit, and technology industries, developing new products and services, providing leadership, and facilitating meaningful engagement with stakeholders. Yemisi is driven by a mission to empower young people, women, and immigrant professionals through content delivery, coaching and training. She believes that if given the right tools and tactics, any motivated person can gain the awareness and grit needed to create better opportunities.

Yemisi 

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