The 8th March 2017 is International Women’s Day.
This year’s #beboldforchange theme looks to celebrate women’s achievements, and to ensure career advancement for women.
At reed.co.uk, we know that companies who are positive about gender equality create the environment for women to love what they do.
Where we are now
Women’s unemployment is lower than it has been in decades. Gender pay gap legislation will be introduced in April to address the £361,000 that women earn less in their lifetimes and there are a higher proportion of women being appointed to senior positions than ever before.
However, the reasons for a gender pay gap are varied and complex, and the fact there still is one, indicates more work is needed if women are going to experience greater parity in the workplace.
This means knowing your organisation, understanding the complexities that might be creating imbalances, and being committed to taking action to address it. Easier said than done? Yep. Worth it? Absolutely.
So what can you do to have better gender parity in your business? Here are few ideas from reed.co.uk to get you thinking.
- Get on board with gender pay gap requirements – In getting ready for the publication of our gender pay data in April 2017, we’ve already reviewed our numbers and talked it through with each member of our board. We think that it’s too easy to assume we know the answers, or to accept our results as a given. I doubt any woman will be surprised to hear that there is a gender pay gap in your organisation. Knowing how it is created is fundamental to doing something about it.
- Educate your workforce – This legislation is an opportunity for everyone to become more knowledgeable about gender pay – whatever side of the fence they’re on. As a result, it will only increase their motivation to want to do something about it. We think that shying away from it may be more harmful to your business than owning it and talking about it.
- Make it visible – Transparent published career pathways for our sales teams has enabled us to have confidence that everyone is paid the same rate for the same role. We have clear and visible rules about variable pay that everyone can see, meaning that people are rewarded on merit, and not on their masculinity.
- Provide promotion possibilities – As with most companies, fewer women in senior positions has been something we have had to contend with. In fact, this is the primary reason for gender pay differences. Identifying women who had the potential for more senior roles, and making sure they knew that we thought so, helped them to have confidence to apply when roles became available – and to get the development they needed to be the best candidate for the role. In the last 18 months, we have been pleased to hire our first two female Sales Managers, our first female Director of Technology, and have 11 of our 25 most senior managers be women.
- Get EVERYONE involved – Improved gender parity isn’t just for women, it’s for everyone. And whilst we have more men in senior positions than women, making sure that they’re visibly and actively promoting career advancement regardless of gender means that everyone knows what we think. Challenging myths and stereotypes is an important action if you want to reduce the sense that this is something that only women should care about.
An ongoing commitment
In short, we’ve had some successes, but we still have work to do.
In the next year we need to review what we offer the women who work here, and that we want to work here. We want to ensure that those women in our middle management groups are progressing, and that we define more clearly what our leadership ideals are.
We’d like a few more women working in our tech and development roles. This may mean more part-timers, remote workers or flexible working arrangements and more promotion of our successes in having a digital business that has a 42% female population across our sales, technology, finance, marketing and HR departments.
Finally, we want to continue the conversation about equality in the workplace, so that we can ensure that all of our Co-Members (and the rest of the world) really do Love Mondays.
Celebrating the women who work at reed.co.uk
Keep your eye on our social media feeds on Wednesday 8th March.
We’re celebrating the women who help make up our business – whether they work to develop our products and lead our tech teams, or head up departments in finance and sales.
We’re celebrating the women in our business who show the way for other women in the business, and sharing their wisdom and success. Follow us @reedcouk to see their stories.
#IWD2017 - Helping women love Mondays at reed.co.uk by reed.co.uk