Employers can actively help to close the gender pay gap by hiring flexibly. There are many professional women who need flexibility or part-time work to help them continue to thrive in their careers once they have children.

The reality is, with childcare drop-offs and pickups to contend with, if businesses do not offer flexible working, the gender pay gap will always exist. Caring roles also largely fall to women as they get older, so it’s not always only working parents who are penalised by a lack of flexibility. 

Do you need to report your gender pay gap?

Your business is required to report on pay in accordance with the Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017. But this is only relevant for organisations with over 250 employees. Smaller businesses are not required to release this information by law but they are encouraged to do so. If your business is openly welcome to boosting diversity, it can make you an attractive employer of choice. You can learn more here.

What about the part-time gender pay gap? 

Just recently, on Equal Pay Day 2019, it was reported that the gender pay gap is close to zero for workers under the age of forty. The pay gap has also decreased for part-time workers, but this is largely due to a better rate of pay for lower skilled, lower paid workers and not professionals. For the latter sector, more still needs to be done. If more businesses open up their job adverts to flexible workers, more women will apply and have more success at interview stage.

This is important to communicate with HR departments or hiring managers – it’s our opinion that flexibility is key to the future of successful business – and in turn, we would hope that those employees who stay in work for longer can advance up the career ladder with more ease as their flexible needs alter with time.

Why employing women is good for business

As a part-time and flexible recruitment agency, it is our experience that employers have a lot to gain by opening up the talent pool to flexible workers. And many of the candidates we place are often older, more experienced female professionals seeking to use their skills in a rewarding, local flexible role.

The gender pay gap data also showed that mothers continued to pay a maternity pay penalty despite long-term improvements. The majority of women in their 40s are still employed in low skilled occupations and they largely work part-time, both important elements of the overall differences in pay between men and women.

Mothers want to find rewarding work

More women than ever are in work now – as many as three-quarters of mothers are employed. The Guardian reported that a government spokesperson said, “It’s great to see more women returning to work after having a child. The careers of talented women should not be held back because they take time out of their jobs to care for a loved one.”

This is very true, but it is also key that women are not needlessly underemployed. Businesses only stand to gain if they recognise the potential that professional women can offer to their workplaces – as long as flexibility is in place. It may take a change in company culture to achieve this, but with a little effort, the long-term benefits will soon stack up.

Senior jobs for senior women can be flexible

If businesses want to boost productivity and continue to thrive, women are going to be key to this, according to Working Families. Employers that have women on their boards are to be actively encouraged. Research released by Morgan Stanley earlier this year suggested that firms with more gender-equal boards have outperformed their peers by an average of 2.8 per cent every year for almost a decade.

All of this makes for interesting food for thought and is well worth considering for businesses turning thoughts to recruitment. When you recruit part-time or flexibly, you can help to boost diversity and also, find exceptional talent for your business at less than the price of a full-time permanent wage.

Contact our flexible employment agency today

Here at Ten2Two, we are keen supporters of professional women in the workplace. We work with lots of companies who appreciate the benefits of flexible workers and enabling working mums in particular, to further their careers. If you’d like to find out more, please contact us and we’ll be happy to talk through your hiring options.

 

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