This year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) saw more momentum than ever. Incredibly, it’s been 112 years since IWD was first launched in 1911 as a way of advancing women’s equality.

However, despite the advances made in terms of gender equality, research highlights that there is still work to be done. Deloitte’s Women@Work 2023 study reveals that ‘women are still not getting what they need from their employers’. 51% of the women surveyed said their stress levels are higher than they were in the previous year. The study also shows a decline in the proportion of women who say they get adequate mental health support from their employers.

Here are four ways employers can address this issue and ensure the needs of female employees are firmly on the workplace agenda:

Mind the gap

With 2023 figures suggesting 80% of UK employers pay men more than women, closing the gender pay gap remains a major priority for a lot of businesses. From auditing, reporting on and reviewing salaries, to providing increased transparency in pay structures and bonuses, real change will make women feel valued, empowered and ultimately, ensure they remain at the organisation for longer.

Focus on flexibility

The Deloitte study revealed that of those surveyed, more left their jobs in 2023 than in 2020 and 2021 combined. A lack of flexibility around working hours was one of the top cited reasons for leaving.. Flexible working can be key to enabling women to reconcile work and caring duties and ultimately closing the gender pay gap, with women still statistically taking on the majority of the childcare in families. The right to request flexible working is now a statutory right from day one of employment, does your organisation have its own flexible working policy? Are your female employees encouraged and trusted to take advantage of it?

Understand and support women’s health

 New guidance issued by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) states that employers must make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for women going through the menopause and could be sued for disability discrimination if they fail to do so. With two thirds of women who experience symptoms citing a negative impact on life at work, this is a positive step forward. But with women regularly working with pain and discomfort due to symptoms associated with menstruation, pregnancy and other women’s health issues, there’s still work to be done.

Keep learning

One of the best ways to empower women at work is to talk to them about their concerns and challenges, listen, learn and make changes. Read up on and understand gender bias in the workplace and lead by example, seeking external support if needed. Deloitte’s study concluded that women who work for Gender Equality Leaders (those who create inclusive cultures) are more engaged, supported and ultimately, more productive at work.

For more ways to look after employee health and wellbeing, please visit Health care cash plans are quick and easy to set up, and they pay employees cash back towards their everyday health costs such as dental treatment, eye tests, glasses/contact lenses and physiotherapy, as well as services such as sports massage, acupuncture and reflexology. Plans often include 24/7 access to a GP and confidential employee assistance and counselling services, enabling employees to deal proactively with a wide range of issues which in turn can have a positive impact on your business.



Main Logo