Women in the workplace

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we took part in the Westminster Employment Forum seminar ‘Women in the workplace – next steps for policy and best practice’ on 5th March 2015.  Here are our key highlights from the day:

Women in the workplace 

To improve gender equality in the workplace:

– Companies with more than 250 employees should be forced to disclose their pay gap

– The focus must be on productivity and output rather than hours worked.  There is still a culture in many organisations where employees work long hours in order to be seen to be committed and hard-working.

– The right to request flexible working has the potential to change organisational culture, however, only if it’s also taken up by men so that it is not seen as career limiting.

– Shared Parental Pay must be increased so that sharing parenting responsibilities becomes a viable option for families.

Engineering firm, Atkins, presented a case study on what they are doing to improve gender equality in their business.  They have set up various women’s networks and development programmes, introduced unconscious bias training for all, promoted flexible working and they will soon be launching a maternity returners’ programme.  Truly inspiring!

To encourage the next generation of female leaders, Future First runs a volunteering scheme whereby women go back to their old state school or college to give inspirational talks to students about their own career journey  (http://futurefirst.org.uk/)

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