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Women currently make up 44% of the UK’s workforce, with the female employment rate reaching a record high in 2017.
But, despite advances in society and campaigns such as #metoo, women still face obstacles when it comes to the workplace. Research indicates that there are five key challenges faced by women at work. These are:
Of the total women surveyed, 44% reported their work-life balance as the toughest challenge in the workplace. In another survey, 43% of employees said that flexible working would help them with stress.
Equal pay is listed as the most significant issue in the workplace by 51% of women in Britain. Over the last decade, male graduates could expect to earn 20% more than female graduates. This is why fair remuneration is one of the biggest factors when employees decide to move to a new job.
According to 45% of British women, it feels like men have better access to professional development and career growth opportunities. There is still a perception among some employers than men perform better than average at some tasks.
A study found that 52% in the UK have experienced sexual harassment at work. It’s worth noting 80% of that figure did not report it. Almost 20% of women reported that the harassment came from their manager or someone in a position of authority.
Only 29% of women in Britain reported that they felt they could have children without it affecting their career. With childcare costs at an all-time high, returning to work is not a financially viable choice for some.
Despite these figures, several recent studies demonstrate a link between more balanced gender distribution and a company’s profitability.
In fact, according to research, companies with the highest percentages of women directors outperformed those with the lowest. According to another study, having one or more female directors on the board cuts the risk of insolvency by 20%.
Achieving equal pay and providing good career opportunities and childcare in a workplace free from harassment are imperative. Not only for the progression of women but also for the health of our own economy.
So, how can employees avoid encountering these difficulties in the workplace?
Seeking an employer with strong ethics towards women in the workplace is the first step. VERCIDA’s proud to work with employers who value diversity and inclusion. Offering flexible working, women’s networks and opportunities for women in leadership, our employers are way ahead of the game. To find out more about our inclusive employers, search our database today.