Every year, March is designated as Women’s History Month. Once a week-long event, Congress passed a resolution in 1987 declaring it a month-long celebration to recognize women’s vital contributions in the workplace and the world. Before the month is over, think about how your organization recruits and builds up women.

Women are still underrepresented in many organizations—especially in leadership roles. Women make up only 21% of senior vice president roles and 20% of C-suite roles, according to the Women in the Workplace Report from McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.org. Women of color make up only four percent of SVP roles and three percent of C-suite roles.

Organizations can work to create change and help more women thrive in the workplace by instituting a women’s development program. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share a three-step process from Torch, a learning and development platform, for rolling out a meaningful program.

1. Pinpoint the problem areas. The first step to creating a women’s development program is to understand your organization’s weaknesses. To do this, gather relevant demographic data on promotions, attrition rates and salaries at your company. You can then compare this data to national benchmarks from sources like the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Status Of Women In The States, according to Torch. HR managers can also conduct research internally to find out what challenges women professionals face. This information can help leaders understand the bigger issues and where they should focus a women’s development program.

2. Address women at all levels. The best women’s development programs are inclusive. They speak to women of all backgrounds and all experience levels. The path to success begins by understanding that not all women have the same goal, the Torch post points out. While some women may aspire to work in a top leadership position, others may prefer to manage small teams. Make sure your women’s development program doesn’t take a one-size-fits-all approach.

3. Integrate a support network. Creating a dedicated support system for women can open doors to growth and advancement, according to the post. Mentoring programs can especially help women professionals develop in-demand skills. The final step in your women’s development program is to build in a mentoring component so that women can connect with others for networking and training.

This Women’s History Month, commit to having deeper conversations about how you can create the kind of workplace where women can thrive. A women’s development program is a great place to start. You’ll get stronger female leaders and a stronger company as a result.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Torch is a platform for learning and development leaders to deliver, manage and measure employee growth at scale.