Gender equality is a very hot topic at the moment and will be for many months if not years to come especially with big national companies such as the BBC failing to fulfill their responsibilities to promote it. Also with many employees now increasingly looking for it in their own workplace, how can you make sure you are meeting their expectations?
1. Have fair recruitment policies
When recruiting for a role, it is important to make sure that your job adverts don’t include anything that might alienate potential applicants. This could mean including gendered language such as ‘salesman’ or ‘Barmaid’. Instead make sure that your Job Description is objective and focuses on the specific qualifications and skills required for the person to fill the role.
Similarly at interview stage it is important for hiring managers to be trained in equal opportunities, diversity, interview skills and avoiding unconscious bias. Ensure they understand your selection criteria and they don’t ask questions which may come across as biased.
2. Introduce Remote and Flexible working
In today’s digital world, remote working is becoming more acceptable and parents can enjoy the benefits of working whilst also being able to support with childcare. This way of working is a great way of showing your employees that you understand it is difficult to balance a career and children at the same time e.g. allowing flexible working hours for those who need to leave earlier for the school run etc.
3. Assist with child support and incentivise Paternity Leave
As a business owner you could consider helping to pay for child support and elderly care or ensure you have a set of family friendly policies in place for employees when your employees need extra support. Or you could look into incentivising paternity leave for dads, if fathers have additional paternity leave, this allows them to have some valued bonding time with their newborns, whilst allowing mothers to take less time off work.
4. Be transparent about pay
It is also a good idea to explain how your business determines salaries and pay increases from the outset and ensure that promotions and rewards are fair. As a business owner, you must make sure that these are not in favour of male employees or those that are able to work over and above the standard business hours, so that everyone has a fair chance of receiving a promotion, reward, or salary increase.
By promoting an equal and positive work environment that rewards those who do their role well; your employees will see that working within your company supports their lifestyle and you will ultimately gain their loyalty.
If you need any HR advice or guidance, please get in touch.