The annual Top 50 Employers for Women list has been announced and features many of diversityjobs.co.uk’s members. The list aims to highlight employers who are offering the best workplaces for women and actively working to recruit, retain, develop and progress female talent, from interns and graduates to experienced professionals, women returners to senior executives.
Here we highlight the work of our fantastic members who have featured in this year’s list.
BAE Systems have been actively working towards improving the gender balance of its organisation and ensuring there is an inclusive environment for all of their employees. In particular, they have been addressing the representation of women at all levels in their Programmes & Support areas.
BAE Systems have been making progress, in 2016 approximately 25% of their intake of graduates and apprentices were women, with this number expected to increase further this year. They have also increased the number of women in management in the last three years.
Nigel Whitehead, Group Managing Director – Programmes and Support says: “We’re on a long journey of cultural change, and I’m really pleased that our efforts and achievements to date have received this prestigious external recognition. A diverse workforce makes us more innovative and productive, and that’s why it’s so important that our employees should enjoy an inclusive workplace.”
Barclays have committed to increasing gender balance in their organisation and have achieved this by supporting a wide range of internal and external initiatives which highlight the importance of gender diversity. These include, the creation of a Women’s Initiative Networks (WiN); sponsorship of the annual Women of the Year Lecture in March and Lunch in October; an internal Women of the Year Awards; sponsorship of the Women on Boards: 6 month Monitoring Report; and celebrating International Women’s Day every year.
Mark McLane, Managing Director, Head of Global Diversity and Inclusion, Barclays, said: "I am proud that Barclays continues to be recognised as an employer of choice for women by The Times' and Opportunity Now. This fantastic recognition acknowledges the great strides that we have taken to build an inclusive work place."
BT has been encouraging young women into non-traditional roles such as computing and engineering as something that is very important for their business. BT has been making fantastic progress in attracting more women graduates and apprentices into areas such as Openreach, which offers engineering roles, by making women engineers much more visible on their website. Flexible working is also at the forefront of BT’s business and they are transforming their business capability to enable their employees to achieve a better work-life balance.
BT recognises that diversity is good for business and, therefore, ensuring that barriers to women’s progress in the workplace are tackled is very important both for individuals to reach their potential and for the benefit of the organisation.
Department for Transport
Department for Transport are dedicated to creating an inclusive working environment free from discrimination, harassment, bullying and victimisation. Recently, there has been a drive towards getting more women into transport roles with the Minister for Trasnport outlining his commitment below.
John Hayes MP, Minister for Transport, said: “I am committed to working with industry and networks such as the WTS to elevate the practical skills necessary for the success of our country. It is a business no-brainer, tapping into the wider pool of the workforce to unleash the unrealised talent of tens of thousands of women, and we have set ourselves clear targets in order to achieve this. We need those who are curious, adaptable and imaginative to build all our futures; maximising their potential through careers in infrastructure.”
EDF Energy have been working towards creating the best workplace for women and have reinforced their commitment with the creation of various employee network groups, including a Working Parents’ Network and a Women’s Network. The networks provide a platform for employees to share their views and tell EDF what they are doing right and where they can improve. This creates a sense of community and an open environment where employees’ views are valued and acted upon.
Fiona Jackson, Head of Strategic Resourcing at EDF Energy, said: “To recruit and retain the best and most diverse talent, we know that creating a culture of inclusion is fundamental. Our employees and networking groups have been at the forefront of driving change and we’re delighted that their efforts have been formally recognised by Business in the Community.
“There is still plenty of work to be done. Given the STEM recruitment challenges that we face as an industry, we are focusing on innovative ways to appeal to more diverse talent in order to expand our recruitment pool. We firmly believe that having a more diverse workforce equips us better to face the challenges and grasp the opportunities ahead, and to innovate and perform much better.”
HSBC supports gender diversity and inclusion with a wide range of initiatives, which include: an Inclusive Leadership Programme; an Accelerated Female Development Programme; Gender/Women’s Networks; and Mentoring Me, which is a list of registered mentors for potential mentees to approach. They also offer a number of initiatives for parents including, a new parent return guarantee which allows all maternity, adoptions and additional paternity leave returners a guaranteed return to work as a 0.5 FTE at the same grade level; a Working Parents Network; and Flexible Working.
Antonio Simoes, head of HSBC in the UK commented: “Through initiatives such as the Inclusive Leadership Programme we are raising awareness within the bank to drive inclusive behaviours in their teams and supporting them in recruiting, engaging and developing diverse employees. We have made good progress in the areas of gender balance and are committed to continuing our efforts to be a truly diverse and inclusive employer.”
Lloyds Banking Group
It is highly important for Lloyds Banking Group to attract, develop, fully utilise and retain top female talent as it has been proven that companies with gender diverse senior management teams perform better. In 2014, they made a commitment to achieving 40% women in senior management roles with their Helping Britain Prosper Plan and they were one of the first signatories to the Women in Finance Charter in 2016.
Lloyds Banking Group offers an award-winning women’s network, Breakthrough, which is now the largest network of its kind in the UK with 15,000 members and 4,000 mentors. They also sponsor the Women of the Future Ambassadors Programme, which connects award-winning women with sixth form students to provide mentoring and role models.
Fiona Cannon OBE, Director of Responsible Business and Inclusion, Lloyds Banking Group comments: “We are extremely proud to be recognised as a Top Employer for Women for a sixth consecutive year. Lloyds Banking Group is committed to removing the barriers that can block women’s career development. We are creating an organisation where all colleagues can progress on merit.”
MI5 has been working hard over the last few years to increase diversity in their workforce and erase the misconception that they only employ Bond-like figures. They have achieved many awards over this time period, which is a testament to their hard work.
Director General Andrew Parker said: "MI5 is very proud to be recognised as such an inclusive place to work.
"Having a diverse workforce is important at MI5 as we need to represent the communities that we serve. Our people are here to help keep the country safe. It is essential they feel supported and valued at work and that they are treated with respect by their colleagues."
A spokesperson for Women at MI5 said:
"We are delighted to see MI5 placed in The Times Top 50 Employers of Women, this is a milestone which shows the huge level of work that MI5 has put in to make MI5 a more inclusive place for everyone to work."
Morgan Stanley is committed to gender diversity and has many diversity orientated programmes and policies aimed at attracting, retaining and developing women at all levels. One of these programmes is the MAKERS at Morgan Stanley programme which has recognised 46 women in various roles in the field and in the home office, highlighting the many pathways for women in the business. They also run mentoring and leadership development programmes to provide guidance to women throughout their roles.
Reid commented: “We’re definitely seeing progress, but progress takes time.
“We’re not changing the face of the Firm overnight, but progress is there. One of the things I’m excited about is that when I look at the past year, our rate of hiring of women is several percentage points above current rate of representation. Assuming we continue that trend and that we’re also able to address some of the other things that matter to women over time we’ll definitely see real change in terms of female representation.
“On the campus level we have programs like ’Early Insights’ where we bring in women for a day give them an opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at who we are and what we do to advance women,” she adds. “We get a very high participation rate and it also helps us in our conversion rate from perspective hires to summer interns and from interns to full time hires.”
Norton Rose Fulbright
Norton Rose Fulbright has a gender equality strategy which aims to create a culture which enables women to thrive in their careers. The firm launched a Global Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council (GDIAC) in 2012 to take leadership of their D&I processes across all of their offices. This has resulted in a disciplined approach to the attraction and recruitment of women with a number of programmes in place. These programmes aim to support women at all levels and include mentoring and talent management programmes; flexible working initiatives, gender bias education; coaching for expectant and returning parents; and networks for women, working parents, carers and flexible workers.
Stephen Parish, Global Chair at Norton Rose Fulbright commented: “Attracting and retaining female talent is a key focus for our business and is critical to the successful delivery of legal services to our clients. We are committed to increasing diversity within the firm, and improving the gender balance and representation of our leadership, including the partnership at large, globally. This accolade re-affirms our commitment to female progression and our priority is to continue to be an employer of choice by valuing difference, promoting a culture of respect, and encouraging workforce diversity - in all aspects and at all levels.”
Ofcom are proud of the recognition they have received for their commitment to gender equality and progressing women in the workplace at all levels of the organisation.
Karolina and Sasha, who head up the Women’s Network commented: “We are delighted to be recognised as one of the UK’s Top 50 employers leading on gender diversity in the workplace. It’s empowering to know that our network has a strong impact on our culture of inclusivity at Ofcom.”
PwC are committed to gender as a priority diversity dimension with 48% of their workforce being female. To date women represent 51% of their global graduate intake, 47% of their global leadership team, 18% of their global partners, and 27% of their global partner admissions. They have also teamed up with the United Nations Women to create the ‘Building Gender IQ’ online course, which aims to educate people around the world on the barriers to global gender equality and encourage them to take action. PwC have also set a goal to engage at least 80,000 PwC men in the HeForShe campaign.
Laura Hinton, head of people at PwC, said: “We’re committed to gender equality and the wider inclusion agenda is a key part of our business strategy. While it’s pleasing to be recognised by The Times and BITC for our ongoing work on gender diversity, there is still more to do, and we continue to review and evolve our approach to ensure we will build on our achievements to date."
Royal Mail Group
Royal Mail have shown their dedication to creating an inclusive workplace for women over the years with their Women’s Networks and Mentoring Scheme launching in 2012 to provide guidance to women in management positions. Their Outreach Programme was introduced in 2013 to attract more female students to consider a career at Royal Mail by senior managers attending external recruitment events. Their apprentice schemes and a Senior Talent Entry Programme also are aimed at attracting women. In 2005, the Springboard Women’s Development Programme was introduced to support non-management female employees to progress their career with an Executive Leadership Programme, beginning in 2012, to provide equal support to women and men.
Royal Mail’s Chief Executive Officer, Moya Greene, said: “Supporting and empowering women isn’t just a good thing to do - it is business critical. Royal Mail can only succeed in a competitive global marketplace if we are harnessing all of the available talent, not just half of it. We are really pleased with the progress we have made, and the recognition we have received today.”
Royal Mail’s Chief Operations Officer, Sue Whalley, who chairs the company’s Gender Diversity Steering Group, added: “It is really encouraging to see commitment to supporting the career development and progression of women across the company recognised in this way. Royal Mail serves every part of every community in the UK and our business must reflect the diversity of its customers.”
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 call 02037405973 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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