How to create a workplace where women thrive

Women can do it. Four female characters walk up together and hold arms. Girls support each other. Friendship poster, the union of feminists and sisterhood. Vector illustration

Article by Monika Joshevska, Head of Operations, Sopro

As I have progressed through my career over the last few years, I have realised that if woman can see an equally balanced workforce, experience fair and transparent treatment alongside opportunities to work with successful female role models, they will thrive.

This is how I have progressed throughout the company, and how Sopro has managed to reach 250 happy members of staff in six years. In this article, I will explain some key pieces of advice that I believe have shaped my career in order to help other leaders in supporting and developing female members of their teams.      

Firstly, creating the right company culture is essential. It is important to me to put our people first, ensuring that our decisions are logically sound and that the process by which we make them is transparent. In particular, this transparency allows for higher well-being in the workplace; the team appreciates honesty in regard to key decisions and feel more supported as a result. It all contributes to employees having a greater belief in what they do and the impact their work has on both the company and its clients. This then trickles down the office structure, meaning that new starters or anyone who with a question has the opportunity to learn.

Secondly, as mentors and coachers, leaders must be supportive and genuinely believe in their team. During my first interactions with the Sopro founders, Ryan and Rob, it was very clear to me that we shared the same beliefs about work and life in general – which was key in establishing trust and working together— the relationship has been developing through the years and I have acquired a wealth of knowledge as a result. They are a true inspiration and pleasure to work with. I love i that I now occupy a  role that has the opportunity and responsibility to do the same for those who have joined us since. For me, getting to know someone is key to driving their development. By doing so, you can tailor your coaching style to suit them, giving them the tools and confidence they need to excel in their role. It is all about the people, not yourself.

Finally, building relationships and truly caring is probably one of the most important aspects of leadership. It is vital you make time to talk with members of your team about their progress, no matter how busy you are. This opens up a world of opportunities and ability to switch between push and pull when leading. Also, don’tworry about being perceived as too tough sometimes. Whilst it may seem that way at times, your team will appreciate a mentor who genuinely cares for and understands them once they start to progress. At times, this will be difficult, but hard work pays off and coaching your team into tackling problems themselves will ensure great results all round. They develop as people and professionals and then they achieve new heights they never thought possible. Remember: when they achieve, so does the whole organisation.

It is certainly true that taking up a position in such a young company seemed like a risk at the time. However, this was counterbalanced by the opportunity it gave me to be involved, to help build a company. I am grateful for the experience as it has allowed me to keep on growing and hone my coaching so I can help people realize their full potential. I have learnt so much over the last 6 years and have met countless people who have inspired me to continue on this journey of personal growth.

Monika JoshevskaAbout the author

After joining email prospecting technology platform Sopro as their fourth member of staff, Monika rose through the ranks and is now Group Chief Operating Officer and Country Manager, responsible for 200 people in the Macedonia office. After many years of hard work, Monika has learnt how to optimise the workplace to ensure that women can thrive and grow.

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