Two important dates are on the calendar this month, both relating to women.
On March 31 it’s Mother’s Day, where children of all ages have the chance to appreciate and treat their mums.
Less well known but just as significant is March 8, which has been designated International Women’s Day, with this year’s theme revolving around creating a balance, bearing the hashtag #BalanceforBetter.
The campaign’s message is that gender balance isn’t a women’s issue, it’s important to everybody. A balanced boardroom, balanced workforce, balanced media coverage, and balanced government makes for more harmonious and thriving economies and communities.
Women in the workforce
A clear way to celebrate women is to look at the significance of their place in the workforce – and as recruiters, this is an important topic for us.
The world has moved on when it comes to employing women. The ‘you can’t have it all attitude’ - that women can’t have a great career and have a family – is gradually becoming a thing of the past. Changes such as shared parental leave are helping to bring more balance to parenting roles.
But we are by no means there with gender balance, particularly when it comes to senior management and boardroom level.
The gender pay gap is also an issue, even though larger companies now have to report on their gender pay gap data. Recently, HSBC hit the headlines when it emerged that an already significant gap between mean hourly pay for women and men had increased, from 59% in 2017 to 61% in 2018. The gap also widened at Virgin Atlantic, where the gap in median hourly pay rose from 28.4% to 31%.
A Women in Work Commission produced some interesting statistics about the impact that more women in the workplace would have: unleashing women’s full potential could be worth £23 billion a year to the Exchequer.
And here are two more startling facts, drawn together by the Commission from a number of pieces of research. All concur that:
- companies across all sectors with the most women on their boards of directors significantly and consistently outperform those with no female representation
- the higher the percentage of women on a board of directors, the better the company will perform.
It’s also clear that women have the skills employers need. Girls do better at school than boys and at university level more first class degrees are awarded to women than to men.
The evidence is there: employing women, and having a balanced workforce will reap rewards for employers and for the world’s economy.
At 24-7 Staffing, we value all our women employees and our female candidates, many of whom are juggling their careers with childcare.
We are firm supporters of the #BalanceforBetter campaign, in our attitude to recruiting our own staff and for our clients.
Celebrating Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day is a tradition dating back to the 16th Century Christian practice, when people made an annual visit to their mother church, which meant that most mothers would be reunited with their children on this day. Later it was the one day a year when servants were allowed to visit their families.
It’s always on the fourth Sunday in Lent, and every year in the UK £45 million is spent on Mother’s Day cards with around 30 million cards sent.
So let’s have a shout out now for all mothers, perhaps especially those who are juggling busy jobs and childcare.
But more importantly, let’s celebrate women in general, whether or not they are mums, and let’s recognise the contribution they make to our society and our economy.
If you’re an employer, please support the #BalanceforBetter campaign and strive for a balanced workforce – as recruiters, we can help you to achieve this.
If you’re looking for a new role or new career, whatever your gender, we have some fantastic opportunities here for you. Why not get get in touch with our teams based in Chippenham, Bristol and Salisbury for a chat.