We’re excited to bring you insights and advice from the Director of Corporate Communications at American Dairy Queen Corporation, Amie Hoffner, to celebrate Women’s History Month this March.
Amie is a corporate communications and public relations executive with experience in internal and external communication management, executive communication, global crisis management, and more.
Read on to hear her advice for women and her thoughts on the impact that policy has on equity for women in the workplace.
What advice do you have for women in or entering the industry to overcome gender bias in the workplace?
To overcome gender bias, we must first accept that it exists. Then, we must work to understand why and what we can do to provide greater equity. Governments and employers have a significant responsibility to overcome gender bias in the workplace from pay equity to equitable benefit offerings. And individual contributions are powerful as well.
If you are a people leader, be an advocate for equal pay for equal work across the team you lead. Ask your HR team to provide blind resumes when evaluating candidates for a new role—unconscious bias is real and you might be surprised by what you learn. Have an open mind when evaluating employees for a promotion and ask candidates if they are open to the opportunity, rather than making assumptions. Always remember the importance of leading by example: use your parental leave, add pronouns to your email signature, use or openly support flexible work arrangements, and hire a diverse and inclusive team.
Each of us has an individual responsibility as well. We can influence our leaders and HR teams to offer equitable benefits to both parents including paid parental leave, affordable/subsidized childcare, onsite childcare, flexible work arrangements, and paid benefits to support mom and family like mailing mom’s breast milk home when she is traveling for work.
Do you think certain policies would make an impact on equity for women?
Yes, government policies that provide greater support for both parents have proven to be effective in balancing childrearing workloads.
Progressive governmental policies offer generous and equitable paid time off for both parents. Iceland offers six months paid leave to each parent, with six weeks transferrable between parents. Finland, Germany, Norway and Sweden also offer progressive parental leave policies to both parents. Some of these countries offer a use-it-or-lose it option, encouraging both parents to take paid leave and participate in childrearing.
One key outcome is that both parents are encouraged to be responsible for childrearing independently. This empowers both parents to participate in family responsibilities at home, which creates greater equity in employability, compensation and promotability.
Employers need not wait for government policies. Companies can choose to offer progressive and equitable leave for parents, regardless of gender, to support their employees, provide greater equity and differentiate themselves competitively.
We love Amie’s take on not only organizational responsibilities to make a difference, but also individual responsibilities. Watch for our next Women’s History Month feature soon.