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Innovation: Through the power of diversity

Category: Awards, Women, Lendlease, Gender Equality, Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Mail, Employer, revolution, company, champion

Gender Focus

 

Is your company championing the employer revolution… or part of the problem?

Where’s the best place to be a successful woman? According to the new Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2018, Royal Mail, Lendlease, Lloyds Banking Group amongst others are the best in the market for empowering women. That means they have adapted their business practice to consider gender equality, diversity and inclusion, all while creating opportunities for women in a wider context.

So far, so good. But before you get your application forms out, let’s think about what that means. Companies on the Times list nominate themselves by submitting a report to be considered against best practice. They may have ticked all the boxes on their empowering frameworks and policies, but on last year’s list more than nine in 10 women in those companies were paid less than their male counterparts. Almost half of the companies reported a gender pay gap larger than the national average.

We’re talking about the gender pay gap because new rules mean all companies, charities and public sector bodies with more than 250 employees submitted their gender pay figures to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission in April. More than 10,000 companies reported figures, including almost 300 subsidiaries of FTSE 100 companies.

To give just a couple of examples, the holiday firm Tui reported gender pay gaps of 47.3%, 31.4% and 2.6% in three subsidiaries. easyJet, who recently had a female CEO, looked at its numbers and vowed to launch a recruitment drive to hire more female pilots. Inclusivity is more than policy, more than a soundbyte, more than equality – it’s equity. It’s not treating everyone equally (though that’s important) it’s using enabling policies which mean everyone can step up to the same place.

At VERCIDA, we believe in employment for all. We recognise the need to look beyond the headlines. Having a diverse team isn’t about visibility, best practice or rankings. It goes deeper in promoting an environment of innovation and out of the box thinking amongst your workplace. Still not sure how to achieve this?

Here’s a few suggestions:

  • Use online networks

Professional networking groups on Facebook or Linkedin are a fantastic opportunity to be visible to and connect with others in your industry of skill set. It’s also a place to hear how to make a difference in what you do. For example, the WITI – Women in Technology International has thousands of members and lively conversations on workplace culture and inequalities.

  • Be transparent and make a good offer

To improve the diversity of your talent pool you need to make sure that you’re building an attractive organisational culture. Use pictures on your company website and your social media pages of what your office looks like and showcase the perks of being an employee. Openness makes you approachable and friendly – that’ll reflect in what you do and how well you do it.

  • Be flexible

Do your employees have the opportunity to work from home? Flexible hours? Can you use video interviewing systems that suit people’s availability? Make this clear in your job adverts and watch your candidates change. These small considerations can add significantly to your productivity and open up your workforce at the same time.

  • Go candidate-blind

Human bias can, intentionally or unintentionally, skew the recruitment process. Take that line out by using responsive AI systems to filter job applications. That gives you anonymised applications to consider putting forward to the next round – you get the person, not their race, sex or gender. Let’s talk about skills, not surnames.

Women’s employment and empowerment is more than just a data or policy issue for a newspaper headline. It is poverty reduction. It is inclusive growth. It is basic social justice. 

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email info@vercida.com for more information.

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