Women in the Workplace – International Women’s Day 2018

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Women in the Workplace – International Women’s Day 2018

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As a woman on the eve of International Women’s Day 2018, I consider there to be three major issues in the workplace that affect women in particular at present:

Flexible Working and Maternity Discrimination

My view remains that one of the key barriers to women remaining in their careers is the lack of flexibility following a return to their role after maternity leave. To retain talented woman in the workplace, consideration of their views needs to be taken on how their flexible working can be accommodated. It is clearly a matter of choice but if employees are aware that an employer is flexible and willing to make changes to the working environment, hours of work and place of work then there are more choices available to women following maternity leave. Not only is this beneficial to maternity returners, it is also beneficial for business, with those adopting flexible working practices reporting higher levels of employee engagement, retention of high quality individuals and increased productivity.

Gender Pay Gap Reporting

Although this new reporting duty only affects private employers with more than 250 employees, it has clearly brought this issue to the public’s attention and employers are taking the matter seriously. Employers are having to consider how they report information and if they do have a gap in pay for reasons relating to gender, consideration is being made on how to address this.

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Employers are able to create the workplace culture in terms of how they deal with allegations of bullying and harassment including sexual harassment. Employees should be made to feel able to report issues, however minor, and that these will be fairly investigated and addressed. I advocate HR Training in this area to set the standard to managers and employees as to how complaints of bullying and harassment will be dealt with by employers in the workplace. In recent months, I have been carrying out Equality and Diversity training for a number of employers in the local area.

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