The Women and Work All Party Parliamentary Group launched their “How To Recruit Women for the 21st Century” report and toolkit yesterday, which features a number of policy recommendations for the government and practical suggestions for employers who want to improve their recruitment processes. The report and its accompanying toolkit “aims to go some way towards bridging the gap between the willingness to commit to a more balanced gender distribution in the workplace and the challenges of achieving this“.
The toolkit features a number of policy recommendations for the government, including;
- How it could remove barriers for young women undertaking apprenticeships
- Funding for SMEs to offer coaching and mentoring
- Strengthening the Equality Act 2010 to better protect disabled people and those with health conditions from discrimination
Gillian Keegan, the Co-Chair of the Women APPG, said they had “published this call for action to employers, to encourage them to think differently about how, where and who they hire, as part of open and inclusive recruitment process“. At the launch, Helen Whately, the Conservative Party Vice-Chair for Women, spoke about the need to make flexible working a default for both men and women in order to achieve gender equality in the workplace.
The report highlighted the need to build a pipeline of “strong female talent at all levels” which could be developed by employers through mentoring, outreach and an increase in the visibility of female role models, particularly in sectors where they are generally under represented. It also examined how some women are “doubly disadvantaged” by facing multiple barriers, for example women aged 20 are five timed more likely to be employed than women over 55: and the majority of professionals who reported that they experienced discrimination in an interview said it was age discrimination. In order for women to break out of the low-pay cycle, the report suggests a focus on learning, development and training in order to increase the skill base for women which “could help break this pattern”.
The APPG also found that a lack of confidence was a key issue that prevented women returning to work following a career break, as well as a reluctance from employers to hire individuals with a CV gap and a lack of clear paths in recruitment for women to return to work.