Only just last week the Department for Business has announced that listed companies must reveal the number of women they employ to identify any inequality in the workplace.
From the end of 2013, businesses will be forced to produce gender audits highlighting a clear number of men and women they employ to offer transparency.
Currently, women just make up 16% of UK board roles and the recommendation has been pushed along by Lord Davies. He continues to urge companies to hire more talented women into senior management roles.
The real focus of the Department for Business is to highlight gender inequality in companies and they won't be able to hide.
Business minister Jo Swinson said: “It’s widely acknowledged that the UK leads the world in standards of annual reporting, and that those standards are rising every year. However, over a period of years reports have become longer, more complex and increasingly difficult for shareholders to navigate.
In addition to revealing the gender numbers, in 2013 businesses will also have to reveal the levels of pay.
Many equality campaigners have backed to move including Helen Wells, Director of the Charity - Opportunity Now. She goes on to say" “These amends show just how effective the Lord Davies review has been for addressing the progression of women on boards in the UK. Intent is being converted into action, without the need for quotas.
“Together, they not only encourage long-term organisational change and the development of talent pipe-lines, but make it easier for shareholders to hold companies to account. We encourage shareholders and investors in these companies to deliver on this task.
“We fully support these changes as they will enable investors and shareholders to identify gender imbalances and better understand where the barriers to progression for women are in the organisation."
She added there is "absolutely" a need for greater transparency in how organisations report on "workforce metrics and gender equality and diversity".
Posted in Legislation
A recent poll carried out by software provider, TeamViewer found that from the 1000 office workers questions, nearly 70% would prefer to work from home.
Interestingly, the majority of workers, 78 per cent, want more access to flexible working as a benefit in the absence of pay rises, a survey has found.
Many UK businesses are still to implement clear flexible working strategies for their workers. Half of the office workers asked said they would prefer not to have to travel to the workplace. Only a quarter of the respondents could choose to work from home, with prior arrangements and just under another quarter said they would on occasion work from home.
Many of the employees questions said they would be happier if their employer could contribute to better "virtual" office working conditions - eg faster internet access.
Interestingly, whilst many workers enjoy the option of flexible working, may still continue to work in their designated office.
The findings did show that more people did enjoy and are seeking a better working life balance through flexible working policies.
Posted in Flexible working
After a report found that over the last decade, women working in the Technology sector has fallen significantly and the government has now decided to take action.
Women actually make up 49% of the UK labour force and within this population, just 17% work within IT. We have recently witnessed the CEO of Yahoo being secured by senior executive, Marissa Mayer which we hope will have a ripple effect down through the industry.
The Industry has always been labelled as less feminine and for geeks so this has been a big part over the last decade as to why more women have fallen out of the recruitment process as it perhaps isn't so attractive.
Founder of the marketing agency The Lady Geek, Belinda Parmar suggests that "if this had been allowed to happen in any other industry there would be an outcry". Parmar has found through research that tech companies with women on management teams have a 34% higher return on investment.
Some women in the field tend to disagree and believe different. Leila Johnston, writer and technologist-in-residence for the Happenstance project at Sheffield's Site Gallery, says: "Women in tech are perhaps getting a little bored of talking about their women-ness now. Which is a shame, as who else will stand up and say it's OK for girls to hang out in the computer room every lunchtime
Leila Johnston, writer and technologist-in-residence for the Happenstance project at Sheffield's Site Gallery, says: "Women in tech are perhaps getting a little bored of talking about their women-ness now. Which is a shame, as who else will stand up and say it's OK for girls to hang out in the computer room every lunchtime, like we used to?"
Is it time to forget the tired stereotypes of engineers and technologists as nerds and geeks and boffins? "My role models were people who seemed to do whatever they wanted, without caring what anyone thought of them," says Johnston. "It might just be this attitude that gives girls the push to not care about going against the grain."
Posted in Flexible working
Mind the gap!
So you have taken a year out or even a longer break from your career and now you have decided you would like to return to the workplace? You look at your CV and not sure were to start?
When we take career breaks for any reason it can make us a little nervous as to how we explain our breaks/gaps and also we fear the markets have moved on without us.
Presentation and a clear explanation of your skills and being able to demonstrate these well in previous posts are key. Being able provide concise detail as to exactly what you have done will give the employer more interest and grab their attention.
Your CV should flow placing your skills and experience in an interesting order so that the employer takes you into consideration for the role. With the turbulent market we have experienced since 2008, it is actually quite common for candidates to have breaks on their CV, so it’s not really unheard of. A good CV must be based on skills rather than being presented in a chronological order.
So this is a good place to start when giving your CV a complete makeover. Gather a list of all the skills you have acquired since leaving education, through your career and whilst taking a break.
You may have offered some volunteering, advisory, freelance, charity, school/baby group support work. You may have even started your own blog/website? These are skills and can be translated onto your CV.
Order them concisely and you will be surprised perhaps that you have acquired skills without realising?
Getting back to the workplace can leave you feeling daunted and you may be lacking confidence, but taking a step back and again creating a plan of action can be the first steps back.
Can you offer some advisory/consultancy work for free perhaps amongst local businesses where your skills may fit? If you haven’t created a Linked-in profile make this a priority. Have a think about the types of businesses you would like to work for and see if there would be ways you could work with them? Connect with all of your previous colleagues who witnessed your dedication and experience. Start networking and share with them your interest of returning to the workplace and what you can do?
By looking at your list of skills, you may shape a role, which you didn’t necessarily do previously but can give you the insight to work towards. Talk to friends and again previous colleagues to gather information and tips to help you along.
As well as reading jobs adverts, focus on a few specialist website/agencies who can help you and give you some advice.