Tips for tackling gender inequality in the workplace

Irish women are more likely to work part-time, earn less money and are inadequately represented in business when compared with men, according to the European Commission.

On International Women’s Day 2018, the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI ) is issuing the following five tips for employers looking to tackle gender inequality in the workplace head-on:

Leadership development

Organisations should make sure that a system for leadership development is available, including for part-time staff, the majority of which may be women. This can be achieved through the introduction of mentoring, coaching, learning and development programmes, 360-degree feedback, talent management and succession planning systems.

Put it in a policy

Businesses should have an Equal Opportunities Policy, which identifies their objectives and targets with regard to equality, diversity and inclusion. This policy could then be implemented with the help of diversity initiatives and/or diversity training.

Middle management motivation

Have line managers who motivate, support and communicate with their employees. As the saying goes, people leave managers not organisations! Line managers need to get to know both their male and female staff on a personal basis to understand what motivates them

Empower your staff to innovate

Empower staff in the organisation, regardless of gender, to have a say in how they carry out their work as innovation can only take place when different perspectives are allowed to flourish to bring new ideas to the fore.

Introduce equality reporting

Introducing equality reporting is the only way that gender pay gaps can be addressed – as long as organisations cannot see the issues, they will not be addressed.

To reflect the changing workplace environment, the NSAI’s Excellence Through People (ETP ) certification scheme has been updated for 2018 and has strengthened its requirements for organisations in relation to equality and diversity.

Companies applying for the scheme, which aims to maximise employee contribution, now have to show that they have a system in place which supports leadership development. Applicants must also have a robust Equal Opportunities Policy, which identifies its objectives and targets with regard to equality, diversity and inclusion.

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