Supporting women in the workplace means creating a safe and inclusive work environment, which allows women (and all workers) to flourish.
Firstly this means acknowledging the barriers women face in the workplace. Research shows women are still vastly under-represented in leadership roles and have less opportunity to advance. This is even more pronounced for Black, Asian and women from other ethnic minorities, as well as those identifying as LGBTQ+ and women with disabilities.
Women are often overworked and under-recognised – taking on more caring responsibilities to junior colleagues. The CIPD reports that the gender pay gap remains ‘stubbornly high’ and women are ‘much more likely than men to be subject to sexual harassment at work‘.
International Women’s Day is just round the corner so we wanted to bring together some resources we think are important. Supporting women in the workplace requires action, as well as words!
Women in the workplace – Report from McKinsey and Leanin.org
This 2022 report from McKinsey and Leanin.org provides valuable insights into why women are increasingly switching jobs and the progress that is required to make meaningful change on gender equality. You can read the report insights here.
The research is based on data collected from US companies.
Gender equality at work – report by CIPD
This gender equality report from the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) gives a great overview of the barriers often faced by women in the workplace.
It also includes recommendations for employers, such as the importance of role models, leading by example and improving the flexible working options for all employees. You can read the full report here.
Making your workplace fit for new and expectant mothers
There are lots of things to consider when an employee becomes pregnant, from maternity risk assessments to workplace adaptions.
Pregnancy causes both physical and hormonal changes, and providing a comfortable office environment is an excellent way supporting your employee. Other things to consider once the baby arrives, are allowing time for rest breaks, space for breastfeeding/pumping and creating a flexible work schedule to accomodate a good work life balance.
You can read our blog on how to help new and expectant mothers here.
Supporting employees through the menopause
A topic that despite recent press, remains undiscussed and the impact underreported. The menopause is when a woman stops having periods and is no longer able to get pregnant. The hormonal changes and symptoms can have a big impact on daily life.
With menopausal women being the fastest growing workplace demographic, it’s an important topic for any employer to address.
This blog post from Breathe HR explains what the the symptoms and the links to mental health. It also includes ways in which employers can support staff going through the menopause.
The CIPD also provides some helpful guides for employees, people managers and HR teams here.