Women in the Workplace Event

Did you miss the Women in the Workplace Westminster Employment Forum on 23 February?  Here’s a 5-minute overview of the main messages.

Lots of inspiration for me to bring home to PfP Coaching from this half-day event!  A number of MP’s and business leaders presented their thoughts and ideas for actions around the 4 themes:

  1. Inspiring the next generation
  2. Women as leaders in industry
  3. Women in manufacturing and engineering
  4. Improving gender equality in the workplace

Key messages and ideas to further support these 4 drivers:

  • Some of the main challenges in inspiring the next generation are around the continual and ongoing battle to attract women into STEMM jobs, still very male-dominated. Parents and those who can influence education at school and careers service are all encouraged to present career choices in a gender-neutral way, to ensure that boys and girls are encouraged to work out where their passions are.  The role of the ‘carer’ is of utmost importance, however this is still seen predominantly as a female profession and associated with lower levels of pay (or no pay when you consider the stay-at-home parent) – the caring status needs to be elevated
  • Women as leaders: We are making good progress against the 2020 target of 33% women on boards.  However, the key challenge now is the low number of women 2 layers down from board level.  One of challenges is the low turnover of Executive Committees – at between 10 and 20% a year this doesn’t give much scope for promotional opportunity
    • We need to continually engage with men as well as women at all levels to make a difference – this is something we believe very strongly in and work with our clients to ensure all fathers in the workplace are offered the same support and developmental opportunities as new mothers
    • Challenge of finding the right role models – it is outdated and unrealistic to expect us to look to one ‘perfect’ senior man or woman at the top who ‘has it all’ – we need to look all around us at home and at work and take individuals qualities we admire from several individuals
  • I loved Coca Cola’s ‘calling all super-parents’ initiative in their pledge to promote flexible and varied shift-patterns to support women in manufacturing and engineering
  • Deloitte’s support to improve gender equality in the workplace is also inspiring – key messages to me were around ‘fixing the culture and not the women’ and ‘trust agile workers, judging on output’

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