"We looked at the way we post our job descriptions," Rossman said. "Are they as attractive to women as they are to men?
"We found that these were additive changes. We didn't lose the men who continued to apply for and get strong jobs at BASF. But we did get a much more diverse applicant pool."
Once those hires are in the door, it is important for companies to create environments where they can thrive—not only by ensuring they are included and heard, but ensuring that the career paths before them are transparent and achievable.
Smith believes that employee support and resource programs, such as those designed to allow women to network and grow professionally, can help achieve these aims.
Ultimately, the goal is to level the playing field and to create work cultures where individuals feel their contributions matter.
Ironically, it's COVID-19 that has provided more opportunities for inclusion. As companies embrace telecommunications and converse more frequently through Zoom and Teams meetings, professionals are finding they have the opportunity to contribute in more meaningful ways.
"Zoom allows everyone to be equal on the screen," Smith said. "It equalizes the meeting."
Rossman agreed. She also has seen telecommunications level the playing field by giving employees at satellite offices the opportunity to contribute in ways that only employees at headquarter facilities previously could.
Learning to embrace technology, searching for ways to diversify the work force and actively working to empower employees will allow every worker a chance to reach their loftiest goals.
"All of these things together are making a difference," Rossman said. "It is not just about attracting talent, it is making sure they can thrive when they are with us."