Yesterday, on International Women’s Day, our Employment team took the opportunity to reflect on what this year’s theme, ‘embracing equity’, means, and what we think still needs to be done to improve gender equality in the workplace.
Selene Holden: “Whereas equality means giving people the same opportunities as each other, equity is about acknowledging that each person has different circumstances and requirements, and individuals need different levels of support and resources to reach an equal outcome.”
Angharad Ellis Owen: “As a trained barrister, I was involved in a number of significant equal pay claims and have a particular specialism in this area of employment law. Although we are seeing some improvements in pay disparities between genders, organisations should continue to review their pay practices if they want a truly gender balanced workplace. Employers with over 250 or more employees have a legal obligation to report their gender pay gap data, but smaller organisations can voluntarily produce a report, and this can be a useful way of organisations auditing and addressing any pay disparities.”
Katie Harris-Wright: “As a part-time employee and mother of three, I am an advocate of having suitable workplace policies in place to improve gender equality, and in turn create a supportive culture. For example, being as reasonable as possible with flexible working requests, offering enhanced maternity pay and considering hybrid and home working arrangements. To start with, a diversity, equity and inclusion policy can be instrumental in helping an employer set out its aim to provide equality to all.”
Greg Jones: “As a husband to a successful working mum and father to two incredibly talented young girls, it was encouraging to read the FTSE Women Leaders Review report last month, which looked at gender balance in FTSE leadership. In 2011, 152 of the 350 largest companies did not have a single woman on their board, yet now women hold 40% of board seats in those companies! This is a milestone which has been reached three years early (campaigners had aimed for 2025). Work does not stop here though, and they are now aiming to get more women into the top Chief Executive and Chair roles.” https://ftsewomenleaders.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/ftse-women-leaders-review-report-2022.pdf
Whilst there is plenty to celebrate, many employers can still do more to help support their female employees. Find out more about International Women’s Day and speak to our team to see how we can support you make changes in your workplace.