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March 2019: Women’s Empowerment Month

Category: Blogger's Corner

Women's Empowerment Month - March 1st 2019 - March 31st 2019

Women have the ability to transform our economies, societies and businesses. Yet they are paid less, are less likely to have a leadership position, and are chronically under-represented in critical areas like technology and engineering.

Gender equality in the workplace

Gender equality has strong, positive impacts on the economy, European Union research shows . Improving the gender balance in business and employment would increase EU (GDP) per capita by 6.1 to 9.6% by 2050.  That’s a positive benefit of between €1.95 to €3.15 trillion. We know that part of the solution is about access to good opportunities, and the hard work of responsible employers. Search our jobs database now.

But we are not there yet. In 2005, six in ten women were active in the work force. A decade later, that ratio has barely changed (from 60% to 63%). Male representation, on the other hand, was at 80%. A cynical review of the wide-ranging data on this topic suggest fewer women are climbing the ranks and female representation in high-status jobs is closer to a third than half.  In 2018, around one in five senior leadership roles was held by a woman.

There’s also the issue of the gender wage gap, which we’ll be covering in detail over the course of this month. It’s calculated by taking the average male wages, taking away average female wages, then dividing the amount by male wages. It currently sits at around 15%. That means women as a group earn 85% of what men do. We’re proud to be working with companies and organisations that are open and honest about progress in this area. Search our jobs database now.

Part of the problem is that women do not always get the flexibility and support they need to strike a work-life balance. We know that women do about three times more unpaid care and domestic work than men. This, in turn, unfairly constrains women’s options. It makes it harder to take on new career opportunities, to commit to training, or to manage their own health and ambitions.

Employer responsibilities in gender equality

Employers in both the private and public sector have a role in ensuring equal, fair and inclusive working environments that allow women to develop and progress. Involving men is a vital part of this. We need to recognise and move beyond negative social norms. We need to rebalance the power structures that fuel inequality.

  • access to quality work, fair pay and opportunities for training;
  • greater flexibility in working, like shorter hours or telecommuting. All UK employees have the legal right to ask for flexible working arrangements after six months of employment. This was taken up by two-thirds (63%) of working women, compared to 44% of working men.
  • active mentoring, in and out of work. Powerful female role models help and support women in the workforce to navigate barriers and challenges.
  • child care, parental leave and pension schemes. The majority of mothers’ work and 2014 figures suggested almost as many women with children (74.1%) participated in the labour force as women with no children (75%).

Looking for your next opportunity? Need flexible provisions? Search our jobs database now.

Ways to empower women in the workplace

1. Have a zero-tolerance policy for bias. Full stop. This can mean everything from removing bias in the recruitment process to stopping workplace “jokes” which don’t encourage an inclusive environment. Everyone has a role.
2. Hire women in upper management. The figures above show that, across the world, leadership is still not a shared responsibility. Hire women. Promote women. Make the most of women’s proven track record in delivering productive and successful businesses.
3. Provide public speaking opportunities. This is a matter of confidence, visibility and sharing insight. The more women have the chance to share their stories, and act as a role model, the more others will see what’s possible.
4. Provide education and training. We know from the research that women struggle with balancing responsibilities and often work part-time. That doesn’t mean they should not be at the front of the queue for education and training opportunities. Find talent. Nurture talent. Let that talent shine.
5. Equal pay. This is key. Better pay opens us the realm of possibilities. And it’s an important signal you can send to your workforce, and your customers, that fairness and equality are at the heart of all you do.

Let VERCIDA help you to search your next job. We’ve built relationships with forward thinking businesses, putting us in a unique position to connect you with the ideal job.

 

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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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