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How to Build a Company Culture that Supports and Retains Women

Attracting and retaining female employees means building a culture that supports, empowers, and promotes women. Catherine Calko of Spring Oaks Capital shares how her organization supports the professional development of women.




How can companies build a culture that supports women?

Catherine Calko, Chief Compliance Officer and Assistant General Counsel at Spring Oaks Capital, plays an active role in ensuring that women are supported and promoted within her organization. She points out, “It’s one thing to say that you’re going to support women, but then what do you do about it? You can't just talk.”

Catherine understands that, “Supporting women can’t just be a blurb on a slide somewhere. It has to be part of everyday dialogue and it has to be backed by actions.”


To support women in the workplace, you must go beyond talking. To go beyond just talking, Catherine suggests these steps:

  • Recognize. Acknowledge that support for women is needed.

  • Commit. Declare support for female professionals. Make supporting women an important conversation and topic within your organization.

  • Act. Don’t just talk about it! Take action and follow up on your commitment.

How to Take Action

Start taking action by having an honest conversation and evaluating the state of your diversity and inclusion programs. Ask questions like: What resources are we dedicating to the professional development of our female professionals? What programs do we have in place? What kind of opportunities for advancement are we providing? Are we dedicating time and funding to supporting women?

After answering these questions, you should have an idea of what you have in place and what can be improved upon. You can start taking action from there. Catherine notes that having a leader to take on this effort is important to its success. “You really need to have someone dedicated to championing this. Otherwise, it gets lost in the shuffle.”


Why should your company invest in female employees?

Companies that invest in women experience enhanced morale and work productivity. Catherine saw the results of her company’s investment. “Knowing that the company was invested in them created a lot of camaraderie and support among our team. That has carried over into productivity and work product.”


Watch Catherine’s full interview on building work cultures that support women for more.