Lovewell’s Logic: Will we ever see an end to workplace gender inequality?

Last week, The Times published its Top 50 Employers for Women.

The list, which is compiled in partnership with the gender equality campaign from Business in the Community, Opportunity Now, identifies and celebrates employers that can demonstrate best practice in improving attraction, retention, progression and engagement in relation to their approach to gender equality, diversity and inclusion.

Debbie Lovewell, deputy editor, Employee Benefits

Employers that made this year’s list include Marks and Spencer, Asda, Santander and KPMG.

This ties in nicely with an event I attended earlier this week. At the Future Talent Conference 2015 run by Changeboard, Clare Moncrieff, executive adviser at advisory service CEB, discussed some of the myths that exist around the barriers to more women progressing their careers and reaching leadership roles.

One of these myths was ‘Flexible working rights are a special benefit’, which Moncrieff argued against on the basis that flexible working should be a default way of working for organisations.

She said that, according to research, flexible-working schedules are the number one thing women say is the most effective tool in furthering their careers.

And when women are satisfied with their workplace flexibility, their intent to stay with an employer almost doubles.

Moncrieff added that employers should, therefore, make flexible working the default way of working in their organisations for staff of all levels, which will help to remove the stigmas that can sometimes exist around this.

With workplace gender inequality becoming more engrained as a mainstream issue – take the example of weekly glossy fashion magazine Grazia’s successful campaign for compulsory equal pay reporting – employers leading the way in this area will find it is a powerful component of their employer brand.

Many organisations are striding ahead in this area, but is it time for more to follow suit?

And will we ever reach a position where we no longer need to judge organisations on how they support women, but simply how they support all staff regardless of gender?

Debbie Lovewell-Tuck
Tweet: @DebbieLovewell