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How to create a workplace where woman can thrive

Eden Scott
Want to make sure you’re doing all you can to support women in your organisation? 

In this article, we’re examining some eye-opening statistics about women’s experiences at work, and changes companies can make to create a more inclusive working environment.

Gender pay gap

The gender pay gap for full-time work in the UK currently stands at 8.3%, meaning on average, women earn 91.5p for every pound earned by men. 

In the UK, organisations with 250 employees or more must report on their gender pay gap. However, there is nothing preventing smaller companies from conducting research into their own gender pay gaps. 

The gender pay gap is not a measure of the difference between men and women’s pay for equal work (this is illegal, and companies can be prosecuted if they are found to be using discriminatory practices like this). 

Rather, it is a measure of the amount of money organisations pay men versus women in total. 

To close the gender pay gap, the UK government recommends that organisations:
  • Include more than one woman in candidate shortlists 
  • Use skill-based assessments (such as competency-based interviews)
  • Use structured interview formats 
  • Encourage women to negotiate salaries
  • Create transparency around promotions
  • Appoint diversity managers, tasked with ensuring inclusivity 
  • Improving flexible working 
  • Encouraging Shared Parental Leave

Leadership positions

Women represent a pitiful 4% of CEOs across the UK's largest public companies, as reported by Sky News. 

We must do more to encourage women into leadership positions. 

Organisations can help by providing leadership mentoring for women where senior leaders are encouraged to sponsor talented woman employees by providing guidance, advice and opportunities. 

Targeted leadership training and development programmes for women can also help to build confidence and provide advice on securing leadership roles. 

Additionally, we must ensure that women are being considered for leadership roles. If your candidate shortlist includes a disproportionate amount of men, it means that a woman is less likely to fill the position. 

Of course, people should be appointed on talent and suitability for the role - but often, due to implicit bias, women’s contributions can be overlooked.

Support for mothers

One in nine women is unfairly made redundant or fired after returning to work following maternity leave. The mothers' charity Pregnant Then Screwed reports that “by the time a woman’s first child is 12 years old, her pay is 33% less per hour than a man’s.”

We can do more to improve conditions for working mums, including providing genuinely flexible working, better shared parental leave and childcare support.

Learn more about how to support mothers in the workplace.

Zero-tolerance on sexual harassment

Over half of women have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, including unwanted touching and sexual advances, according to TUC.

Any form of harassment at work is totally unacceptable, and companies must ensure that they enforce zero-tolerance sexual harassment policies. This means that women’s accounts must be taken seriously, and need to be fully investigated. 

Final thoughts

Clearly, more needs to be done to ensure that women can thrive at work. As Eden Scott CEO Michelle Lownie explains: “Women make a huge contribution to our national economy, and more needs to be done to ensure they can excel at work. I encourage companies to reflect on any unfair boundaries they might unknowingly have in place, and to do all they can to remove them.”

Next steps

Do you need support finding the right candidates for your team? Eden Scott can help. 
Explore what it’s like to hire with us, or get in touch for support.

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