August 26th: Celebrating Women’s Equality Day

August 26 has been designated by Congress as Women’s Equality Day. This is when women may want to take a moment to reflect on how much they have been able to achieve. One thing to keep in mind, is the many things women were not able to do during the last century.


Women won the right to vote when the 19th amendment passed in 1920. One of the interesting things a woman could do was hold a public office. The first female mayor in the United Sates was Susan Salter, who was successfully elected in 1887 as the mayor or Argonia Kansas. In 1894, women were first able to be elected as members of the Colorado House of Representatives. The first women ever elected as a member of the United States Congress was in 1917.

Obtain Credit Cards

Women were not able to have credit cards in their own name until 1974. This was when the passage of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act was passed. This act prevented credit card companies from using a person’s sex as a basis to discriminate against applicants for credit cards.

Attend Ivy League Schools

Women were not permitted to attend Harvard, Brown, Yale, Columbia, Princeton, and Dartmouth until after 1913. The only Ivy League schools to admit a woman prior to this year were Cornell and U Penn. 1870 was the year women were able to attend Cornell. U Penn allowed women for the first time in 1876.

Graduate School for Married Women

Women who were married were not permitted to attend graduate school until 1961. Married women in the 1960s were not seen as being able to merge certain careers with family responsibilities. One school to first question married women attending graduate school was Harvard.

Become an Astronaut

NASA had no such plan in place for women astronauts or a desire to contemplate any plans based on a letter from 1962. The first female astronaut was selected by NASA in 1979.

Becoming a Supreme Court Justice

No law existed to prevent women from becoming a justice of the Supreme Court. No president felt the need to appoint a woman justice until 1981. Ronald Reagan was the first to do so by appointing Sandra Day O’Connor.

Personalize Your Employees’ Rewards

Many people who are in management positions often bundle recognition and rewards together. The use of rewards is a good option when complementing recognition, but will not be a good replacement. One aspect to realize is rewarding employees is not simply about giving things to employees.

Amplify Recognition

Managers have an opportunity to amplify workplace recognition, employee engagement, and alignment by using rewards. However, this needs to be done the right way. Providing a paycheck to an employee is not seen as a form of appreciation, as it simply satisfies their basic needs. One aspect with any recognition is finding a way to enforce the right type of employee behaviors. Rewards can then be provided accordingly.

Supplying Motivators

The use of recognition with the employees of an organization is a great way to boost self-esteem, love, and belonging. However, supplying a reward may supply a meaningful motivator which will allow the employees to have positive memories that are tied to the organization. This is also a great way to see a significant improvement in employee satisfaction.

Personal Choice

One interesting aspect about rewards is one type of reward that is significant to one employee may not be important to another. This means an investment in rewards needs to be a factor when there is a need to acknowledge employees. There are various options for rewards and managers need to find an option that will be a good fit for an organization’s structure and corporate structure.

Many employees today need to have special meaning. Physical items that include plaques and watches or similar items are generally not appealing to employees. There are better options that are available to use as a suitable reward.

Cash Awards

The use of cash awards may not always be the best option. One reason is because employees often see cash rewards as a form of compensation and may not be meaningful. Rewards need to acknowledge an individual’s achievement.

Organizations need to spend a small percentage on employee rewards. This can just one percent or less of total payroll. One thing to keep in mind is any rewards needs to be meaningful and timely. If there is a small reward that is presented in a paycheck, then it can easily be lost in pay stub and taxes.

Global and Local

The use of one platform for employee success is the best solution. One reason is the experiences which are provided to employees will be consistent. This is crucial for an organization that has a workforce in different geographic areas. Rewards that are provided locally will help reduce costs that are assessed if any fees or duties apply out-of-country employees. This includes the cost to ship a gift certificate or an item of value from one place to another.

Building a Recognition Program For a Modern Workforce

The use of best recognition strategies in the modern workplace is crucial to creating an environment which is competitive. Strategies that were used in the past often do not take into account alignment, engagement and recognition. They often led to disengagement among employees due to meaningless rewards which are often ill-timed. Review a few steps for charting a road map for a recognition strategy.

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Recognition Boosts Engagement and Aligns Employees with Company

The recognition of employees will help companies to better align employees with the objectives or any goals of a business. This is often done by reinforcing the basic behaviors that are tied to the results achieved by a business. The main outcome is the employees’ emotional connection with a company, as they will be more engaged.

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The New Workplace and Workforce

Organizations today are beginning to change to a flatter structure. This means employees will have more opportunities to thrive and collaborate. One aspect of this is being able take opportunities for having a significant increase in accountability and to take ownership of various tasks. The main aspect to realize is how cross-functional companies have evolved.

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