Gone are the days when employers with good track records for recruiting and supporting female employees were motivated largely by altruism. They are now simply indulging in commercially savvy practices.
A wealth of research has consistently demonstrated that employing women can bring genuine benefits in terms of boosting morale and productivity.
McKinsey & Company’s latest analysis, for example, finds that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams are 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile.
Chase de Vere, where 50% of board members and well over 40% of the workforce are female, has long grasped the nettle in this respect. And this has been well attested to by our consistently strong performances at the Women in Financial Advice Awards – which celebrate the individuals and organisations leading change, breaking down barriers and creating possibilities for equal representation.
At the 2021 award ceremony, which took place on October 7th, we had seven employees shortlisted across nine categories, and two winners: Emma McNally picked up Financial Adviser of the Year for the South West and Sharon Hamilton was crowned Woman of the Year for Paraplanning.
We are also especially proud of the extra support we’ve provided for female employees during the pandemic – to support with childcare and home schooling responsibilities.
Strategy&, PwC’s global strategy consulting business, has recently highlighted how COVID-19 has threatened to reverse the important progress made towards gender equality in the last decade as the negative effects of the crisis have been disproportionately felt by women.
It flags that, if nothing is done to directly address the impact of the pandemic on women or to tackle pre-existing gender inequalities in care, more women will leave the workforce permanently and the damage could take years to repair – predicting that, even at double the rate of historical progress, the pre-pandemic equality growth path won’t be regained until 2030.
Chase de Vere has made it a high priority not to put extra pressure on female employees as we knew they already had enough to deal with, and we have gone the extra mile with flexible working to help with childcare and home schooling. It has required a real team ethos to get us through this difficult time.
In addition to realising that women may want greater flexibility in where, how and when they work, successful organisations are appreciating that they desire jobs they believe give them an opportunity to make a difference.
So, it’s important for employers to take time to understand female employees’ values, passions and goals and to try and find ways of integrating these into their working lives.
Providing equal opportunities for all genders to gain promotion and access the resources needed to obtain success can develop leadership abilities, and smart employers are also increasingly encouraging female talent to act as role models — perhaps giving them time off from day-to-day responsibilities to mentor colleagues and take part in charitable functions.
Additionally, there has been a particular trend in the direction of employers providing menopause support now that society is beginning to recognise the need for more open conversations around the subject.
Recent research from digital health and wellness platform Peppy reveals that a further 21% of employers plan to provide this support within the next twelve months – meaning that two thirds of UK businesses may offer it in some form by the end of 2022.
A lot of this is general support for some of the symptoms, such as sleep therapy and counselling to help with mental health and anxiety. But, according to Peppy’s research, 29% of employers are already offering dedicated menopause support from a specialist professional.
Such expert services, which employers can provide access to via their health and wellbeing benefits, can offer everything from self-help options and guidance on hormone replacement therapy to GP access and education to enable colleagues to support those going through the menopause.
If you wish to learn more about how Chase de Vere can help you provide a menopause support service, or with any other aspect of helping to engage and support female employees, then please don’t hesitate to contact us.