As part of the training and development arm of my new consultancy business I am doing some research into what holds women back from achieving their work related goals. Here I hope to explain some of the background to the survey.
Female employment has risen through the decades. The most recent statistics show that as a proportion of the population, 76.3% of women aged 16-64 are in employment, compared to 52.7% of women back in 1971.
To give some context and background you have to look at the equity legislation that we have in the UK. The Equal Pay Act 1970 was an Act of the Parliament hat prohibited any less favourable treatment between men and women in terms of pay and conditions of employment.
For an employee to claim under this Act they needed to prove one of the following:
That the work done by the claimant is the same, or broadly the same, as the other employee.
That the work done by the claimant is of equal value (in terms of effort, skill, decision and similar demands) to that of the other employee.
That the work done by the claimant is rated (by a job evaluation study) the same as that of the other employee.
The Sex Discrimination Act 1975(c. 65) was an Act of Parliament which protected men and women from discrimination on the grounds of sex or marital status. However this was repealed in full by the more recent Equality Act of 2010.
In early April 2018 UK based companies with 250 employees or more were required to submit their Gender Pay gap reports. This new governmental regulation aims to reduce inequality in the workplace and improve overall attitudes to transparency surrounding salaries and pay. 10,000 UK companies provided details of the differences between male and female salaries. The main conclusion and headline fact being that three-quarters of firms were paying men more than women, but also that men were more often in more senior jobs and receiving higher bonuses
Construction, which is the closest sector to the commercial interiors market, is one of the worst ranking sectors, with women paid on average 38% less than men. The country-wide average figure for the gap is 19%, meaning that construction is nearly double the UK-wide average.
It goes without saying that legislation and reporting can only go so far in addressing both the equality of women in the workplace both in monetary terms but also in representation. Sadly a large percentage of women suffer from impostor syndrome and a lack of confidence in their own abilities as well as feeling more uncomfortable with self promotion and both businesses and individuals need to consider what is required to help them reach both the higher levels of responsibility and indeed their own professional goals by addressing these and other imbalances.
I do want to point out that by no means do I mean to state that men do not face these and similar challenges but women do face unique challenges in the workplace that as the data shows are still not being addressed successfully.
How can you Help?
I have compiled a survey to look into what the obstacles are that women face in the workplace to help compile a report that I hope will help both them and highlight to their employers what areas it is that women need support in to help them achieve their work related goals.
There is a couple of quick multiple choice / yes-no questions about you (nothing too personal don't worry!) then the multiple choice poll - should literally take two minutes to complete it all.
Please be reassured it is totally anonymous. Your name and and email information is not captured unless you choose to share it with me.
Here is the link to the survey:
Thank you for your support.