With 47% of the UK’s workforce being women, it would seem that there isn’t really any need to balance out the gender roles in our country. That being said, the gender gap still remains evident. For example, in the main occupational groups, the gap is 4.8% and in the skilled trades occupations it is up to 23.9%.
These figures still beg the question, how can you ensure equality within your business? One way could be to improve the amount of opportunity for employees to improve skillsets. Don’t restrict yourself by only looking at options to promote people who do the hardest jobs or the riskiest jobs. Make sure everyone has a fair chance at being promoted by looking at what they’ve done with the opportunities they’ve been given.
There is an urban myth that exists declaring that men sustain the gender pay gap by being more qualified than women, this is not the case. Consider what people have been presented with and what they have done with it as opposed to what’s in front of you at that moment of decision-making. That being said, be careful not to push any positive discrimination into your ethos accidentally.
If you’re a woman, be a role model. Research has shown female aspiration to be higher up the pecking order at work comes from the amount of (or lack of) women at the top in their lives. A 2018 study by Grant Thornton shows that globally, women only make up 12% of CEO roles. More women at the top can have a trickle-down effect encouraging more women to work their way upwards.
Our CEO Sarah Trouten says, “ In the current economic climate, now more than ever, businesses large and small should be nurturing and investing in female talent and seeking to break down some of the barriers that traditionally have held women back. Entrepreneurship is certainly an area that highlights the equality gap - currently only one in three entrepreneurs in the UK are female. Robust support systems are key in ensuring that women can achieve their full potential, whatever they wish that to be.”
By providing opportunities, training in specialist skills for women and setting an example can help you advance in a competitive landscape. Recognising the importance of women in your workplace is vital and when women do well, the business does well. When pushing gender equality, you’re not only making a positive difference to your workplace but you can also make a difference to the world we live in.
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